Created on 16-01-2008 at 00:00 AM
With two weeks remaining until Bundesliga hostilities resume, Bayern captain Oliver Kahn is convinced his illustrious 20-year career will end with Bayern lifting the championship shield. “I believe we’ll be more consistent than we were in the first half of the season and win the league relatively comfortably,” Kahn predicted at the club’s Marbella training base on Wednesday.
Out of action for a day with a neck injury in the last of more than 50 such training camps, the three-time World Goalkeeper of the Year said he had “no regrets whatsoever” about the imminent end to his playing days, and had “switched on the autopilot” in what he hopes will be a glorious conclusion to his career in mid-May. “If everything works out and we play to our potential, taking all three trophies is not unrealistic.“
Living in the here and now
The 38-year-old, who can add another 30 competitive appearances at most before the final league fixtures on 17 May, is ready to sacrifice every other potential distraction in a bid for trophy success. He directed a fervent appeal at everyone associated with the club to focus on the current season rather than treading water before the arrival of Jürgen Klinsmann as coach in the summer.
“It’s good everything’s been sorted out, but we cannot allow ourselves just to be talking about the future. That would be ridiculous. We live in the here and now,” thundered Kahn, who named his greatest wish as receiving the championship shield one last time. “I want us to be sure we find ourselves standing on the Town Hall balcony on the Marienplatz next spring with something in our hands.“
No firm plans
Kahn has yet to settle any details regarding his personal future, but the longest-serving player at the club will definitely take a break from the game in the first instance. “I think I’ll have nothing more to do with football over the medium term – and maybe for ever. I need a certain distance from it in order to wind down. There are so many other things in life, and so many opportunities. There are lots of questions which I’ll answer in my own time,” Kahn declared.
He will now gather his last reserves of energy in the quest for a happy end to his career. “I’ve had many triumphs, many disasters, and many emotional experiences. I’ll try and summon up everything I have left over the next few months, and that will be that.“ Kahn has no intention of seeking a role in Klinsmann’s support team, even as a goalkeeping coach. “I don’t think they’ll need me.“
Hitting the target, just once
Apart from a trophy or two, Kahn voiced one final wish: to add his name to the scoresheet just once, filling a gap in the “damned record books. Maybe on the last day against Hertha, making it 2-1 in the final minute and winning the championship,” Kahn mused, before immediately annulling the thought: “No, that would mean anything but a comfortable run-in.“