Wednesday, June 15, 2011

15 June 1969 - Khaaaaaaaaaaannn!

On 15 June 1969, future Bayern Munich legend and 2002 World Cup Golden Ball winner Oliver "King" Kahn was born in Karlsruhe, West Germany. He is widely considered one of the greatest goalkeepers in history.

Kahn started his professional career in 1987 with his hometown team, Karlsruher SC (after joining their youth academy in 1975). But in 1994, he moved to Bayern Munich for a fee of €2,385,000--a record at the time for a goalkeeper--and remained there for the rest of his career.

In 1996, he won his first piece of team silverware, the UEFA Cup, followed a few months later by winning that year's European Championship as Germany's starting keeper. He then added to his collection with eight Bundesliga titles (1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008), six German Cups (1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008), the 2001 UEFA Champions League trophy, and the 2001 Intercontinental Cup.

In the 2002 World Cup, Kahn captained Germany, keeping five clean sheets and surrendering only a single goal as they advanced to the World Cup Final. Although they lost to Brazil, 2-0, Kahn became the first goalkeeper in history to win the Golden Ball award as the tournament's best player.

He retired from the national team in 2006, then from Bayern Munich in 2008.

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