Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Kahn to Retire

Hamburg - Oliver Kahn will retire as goalkeeper from the German national football team after the World Cup, the chairman of his club Bayern Munich, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, said in an interview published on Wednesday. The announcement means that the 84-times capped Kahn may play no more international matches for Germany. He is the reserve goalkeeper behind Arsenal's Jens Lehmann at the June 9-July 9 home World Cup and Lehmann is also set to play in the final three tune-up games.

Unless he is fielded at the World Cup after all, Kahn's last national appearance will come next Tuesday in a match against a Germany amateur team, Luckenwalde.

'After the World Cup he will quit the national team and fully concentrate on Bayern Munich,' Rummenigge told the Bild daily.

Kahn has so far not confirmed that he will retire from the Germany team after the World Cup. His new contract in Munich runs until 2008.

Kahn, 36, won his first cap 1995 against Switzerland and was a reserve goalkeeper at Euro 1996 and the 1998 World Cup. He then became a starter at Euro 2000, was voted Most Valuable Player of the 2002 World Cup as he almost single-handedly led Germany into the final, and also played at Euro 2004.

His last cap came on March 22 in a 4-1 victory over the United States.

Rummenigge said that Munich were concerned about Kahn when Germany coach Juergen Klinsmann chose Lehmann in late April as World Cup starter, but full of praise for Kahn's swift decision to accept the new role and go to the World Cup as number 2.

'When Klinsmann degraded him to number 2 we were in big fear. Oliver was completely down. But he reacted superbly,' said Rummenigge.

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