'Time to Say Goodbye': Oliver Kahn Bids Farewell to Football
Legendary goalkeeper Oliver Kahn played the last match of his career on Tuesday night in a farewell match in Munich. With his old club Bayern Munich holding the German national team to a draw, the night was less about the result than about emotions and the celebration of an extraordinary career.
One of the biggest stars of German football bid farewell to the game on Tuesday night, exiting the stadium wrapped in the flag of his former club. After a career spanning 20 years, legendary goalkeeper Oliver Kahn played his last match in Munich -- a testimonial game between his former team Bayern Munich and the German national team.
Despite the fact that Kahn had insisted on Monday that "there aren't many things I will miss" about the game, on Tuesday he played with his old passion. Unfortunately the 39-year-old didnt manage a clean sheet, letting in a goal in the 33rd minute. But that was soon forgotten on this festive occasion.
After making a number of important saves and seeing his teammate Miroslav Klose score to tie the game, Kahn was substituted in the 75th minute. He then did a lap of honor around the stadium to the tune "Time to Say Goodbye," as 69,000 fans cheered him on.
Kahn retired from international football in 2006 after being demoted to reserve goalkeeper by the then German national coach Jürgen Klinsmann during the World Cup. He continued on as Bayern Munich goalie until the end of last season. Ironically Klinsmann has now taken over as coach of Kahn's old team in Munich and helped him train for Tuesday night's career finale.
Afterwards Klinsmann paid tribute to the goalkeeping legend, describing him as "one of the most outstanding sportsmen and athletes to have influenced football." German national team coach Joachim Löw said the evening had been more about fun and emotions than about results. "It was great farewell for Oliver. He deserved it."
At the end of the night, Kahn, who played in goal for Germany an astounding 86 times, told the sell-out crowd that the game had been the biggest of his career. "Today was the pinnacle for me. Hats off!" he said, before disappearing alone down the tunnel. As the cameras followed him to the changing rooms, the fans chanted his name for over a minute.
smd -- with wire reports
© SPIEGEL ONLINE 2008
All Rights Reserved
Reproduction only allowed with the permission of SPIEGELnet GmbH