Created on 02-02-2008 at 00:00 AM
Oliver Kahn hardly gives the impression of a man approaching the end of a 20-year professional career in the game, throwing himself into every training session with the energy of a far younger man and demanding as much commitment from himself and his team-mates as ever. Kahn has appeared appropriately determined in Bayern's two post-winter break matches so far.
The 38-year-old has lost none of his onfield vigour either, as demonstrated by Tuesday's Cup encounter with Wuppertal at the Schalke Arena. After the third division side fired a shock equaliser to make the score 2-2, the keeper angrily blasted a ball into the stands, and booted its replacement wildly upfield. Kahn naturally received a yellow card for his characteristic outburst.
Hitzfeld a believer
There was a similar scene in Rostock on Friday, as Enrico Kern initially saw his shot brilliantly blocked by Kahn, but netted at the second attempt. The keeper gesticulated furiously and launched a verbal volley at his statuesque defenders. "I was angry about conceding, especially as I'd just made a great save," the three-time World Goalkeeper of the Year explained: "Winning the first match was important.“
Kahn is determined to end his Bayern career with silverware. "I'll try and give it everything I have for a couple more months," the 38-year-old declared at the winter training camp in Marbella. Coach Ottmar Hitzfeld is expecting great things of his captain in the remainder of the season. "I've rarely taken charge of a player like Olli Kahn. He never, ever goes easy on himself.“
Break from the game
"My body feels like it could go on for another four or five years," Kahn commented on Friday, "but let's not go there.“ The former Germany star will definitely hang up his gloves this summer, although he has no fixed plans for the future. "There are many options, but I don't think it would be right to commit myself yet.“
However, Kahn is determined to take a break from the game. "I need to work through a few things, take a new perspective, get out into the world. Keeping goal for 20 years has been hard work, and I need to answer one question in peace: do I need something as stressful as that again?“
Hoeneß sees FCB role for Kahn
Should Kahn opt for a return to the game in some capacity, he would be welcome to call on Uli Hoeneß. "I think we'd be well advised to consider bringing Oliver back to the club in some capacity," the FCB general manager commented in Rostock on Friday. Not so long ago, Hoeneß publicly contemplated training Kahn to be his successor. "Intelligent and clever chaps like him don't grow on trees," explained Hoeneß.