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On the road, final part

Oliver Kahn's memories of MSV Duisburg

At the age of 38 and with two decades as a pro already under his belt, Oliver Kahn is nearing the end of a long and successful career. The three-time World Goalkeeper of the Year has made more than 550 Bundesliga appearances, half of them on opponents' home turf. Before each of his last 17 Bundesliga away trips, presents Kahn's memories of previous visits to the ground in question, as the giant keeper recalls unusual incidents and oddball situations, but also moments of sporting drama and emotion. The final visit is to Duisburg.

Kahn's memories of MSV Duisburg:

“After more than two decades as a pro, the moment has finally arrived, as I pack my kit and head off to an away game for the last time. Over the last few weeks, many people have asked me whether I’m deriving special enjoyment from these last few matches, whether they mean more to me or feel different. But my answer is no. You can’t change things mentally when you’ve basically spent 20 years being programmed to prepare for and play in these games. Besides, what is there to enjoy? We’re playing in Duisburg, they’re battling against relegation and we have to stay focused, because there are other teams involved too. We can’t simply ease up, we have to concentrate right to the end.

I’ve not played that often in Duisburg but there’s always been something memorable about my appearances there. I associate MSV with my very first match at the Wedau stadium, back when I played for Karlsruher SC. We were 5-1 down after just 37 minutes. At half-time, our coach Winnie Schäfer just told us to go back out and make it to the final whistle as best we could. We ended up losing 6-2. The thing that hurt me most as a goalkeeper was Duisburg striker Michael Tönnies scoring five. That was amazing, the kind of thing you experience maybe once or twice in a career – whether as a goalkeeper or a striker.

A couple of years later, Bayern visited Duisburg on matchday 33, just as we’re doing now. We were two points behind leaders Kaiserslautern, and could have taken the title race to the last day if we’d won, but we couldn’t manage anything better than a goalless draw, and that was that for the trophy. Two minutes from time, Mario Basler had a huge chance with a free-kick, but Duisburg keeper Gill made a fantastic save. He was also one of the first to come up and console me afterwards. Fortunately, we’ve already sealed the title in advance of kick-off this time, so at least in this respect, I should be able to enjoy my last match as a professional, at least to a certain extent.“

Kahn’s record in Duisburg: P7 W5 D1 L1 F16 A9

(Oliver Kahn was unable to play in the away trips to Bochum, Dortmund, Berlin and Wolfsburg with injury and a club suspension – Ed.)