Big man Kahn settles for small role in World Cup

الإثنين، 10 أبريل 2006 - 16:34

كتب : Mohamed Sabe

Bayern Munich goalkeeper Oliver Kahn said that he will continue with the German national team despite his disappointment to lose the starting spot for the 2006 World Cup to rival Jens Lehmann.

"I've come to the conclusion that it's important for the national team for me to be there, despite my disappointment," the 36-year-old Kahn told a news conference in Munich on Monday.

Germany coach Jurgen Klinsmann settled on Friday the long standing question of who will be the starting goalkeeper in the World Cup when he chose Lehmann over former captain Kahn.

The announcement triggered wide speculation about Kahn's international future.

"This can't be about personal vanity," said the 36-year-old Kahn. "Jurgen has made his decision and I accept it."

Klinsmann's decision is premature as the coach, who took over from Rudi Voller in 2004, had said he would make a decision at the start of May after stripping Kahn of his captaincy and informing him he faced a battle with Lehmann.

Nevertheless, Kahn offered his absolute support for the German team, saying: "The team, including Jens Lehmann, will have my full support."

The Bayern Munich keeper captained Germany to the final of the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan.

He was capped 84 times by his country while Lehmann, who is also 36, played only 29 times.

The World Cup that will take place in Germany will run from June 9th to July 9th.

Lehmann is expected to start the opening match of the World Cup against Costa Rica in Group A on June 9th while Kahn sits on the bench in his hometown in Munich.

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