Oliver Kahn

Oliver Kahn (born June 15, 1969 in Karlsruhe, Germany) is a German football goalkeeper. He stars for the German national team (since 1995) and Bayern München (since 1994). He is known as King Kahn or Kahn, the Titan for his prowess in the game. Kahn started his career at Karlsruher SC, and was transferred to Bayern Munich in 1994 for the (then) huge sum of 4,8 million Deutschmark, roughly 2,5 million Euro. Although suffering a rupture of his cruciate ligament in the next season, he developed into a most formidable goalkeeper. In 2002, he won the Adidas Golden Ball for best player and the Yashin Award for top goalkeeper of the 2002 World Cup. He also started for his country at Euro 2000 and Euro 2004. Kahn is a player obsessed by perfection, and trains fanatically, similar to Michael Jordan. He is hyper-competitive and always demands 100% from himself and his teammates. On the pitch, he is a charismatic, dominant presence who leads his defense and intimidates the opposition. His reflexes are stellar, his control of the box is excellent, and he excels in 1-vs-1-situations.

Kahn, who won his 51st cap against South Korea in the semi-final, embarked on his journey to the very pinnacle of his profession at the age of six in 1975 with hometown club Karlsruhe.

Kahn was later inspired by a Sepp Maier goalkeeping collection he received as a present, and so he worked his way up through the ranks before finally making his Bundesliga debut in 1990.

Over the last eight years Kahn has built up a collection of personal accolades, in conjunction with helping Bayern Munich win a number of trophies, including the European Cup last year when he emerged the hero with three penalty shoot-out saves to help beat Valencia.

International recognition, though, eluded him for some time. Despite making his debut in 1995 against Switzerland, he was forced to act as understudy to Bodo Illgner and then Andreas Kopke at USA 94, Euro 96 and France 98. When Kopke retired at the end of the World Cup in France, Kahn was finally given his chance to make the number one shirt his own - and he has not looked back since. He was married to Simone, but split with her in 2004, after he was connected to former barwoman Verena Kerth, with whom he is a couple ever since.