Goalkeeping is all about the anticipation, says King Kahn
November 04 2014 12:09 AM
German goalkeeping legend, Oliver Kahn (left) during the Doha GOALS 2014 forum yesterday.
German goalkeeping legend, Oliver Kahn (left) during the Doha GOALS 2014 forum yesterday.

Oliver Kahn believes anticipation is the key to success for a goalkeeper and in his opinion German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is the best in the world right now.

“I think anticipation comes with experience. It comes automatically to you and without it you cannot become a good goalkeeper,” Kahn said while speaking at the Doha GOALS 2014 forum yesterday.

“One of the characteristics of great goalkeepers is that they never appear hurried but you have to rely on your anticipation. The game has become faster and faster with the improvement in technology and as a goalkeeper you can’t rely on the waiting game.


HE Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, Secretary
General of the Qatar Olympic Committee (centre) was
present at the Doha GOALS 2014 forum yesterday.

“It is really difficult to wait for the reaction of the opponent. You have to anticipate the different situations to save a goal,” the 45-year-old German said.

Kahn who is familiar with the travails of being a goal-keeper said, “A goalkeeper’s plight is that there is a tendency to remember the occasional mistake at the expense of a brilliant work earlier.

Kahn’s performances in goal for Die Mannschaft at the 2002 World Cup finals in South Korea-Japan virtually dragged his country single-handedly into the final, where they lost to Brazil.

“I played six games without any fault in the World Cup, but normally in a World Cup you have to play seven games without any fault and I made a small mistake in the seventh games and it proved costly in the end. That’s the destiny of a goalkeeper,” he said.

Although Kahn made history, as he became the first and only keeper to be named player of the tournament when he won the Golden Ball.

Kahn has no hesitation in naming his fellow German Neuer as by far the best goalkeeper in the world right now.

“I think Neuer changed the game of goalkeeping in the World Cup,” said Kahn, who won 86 caps for Germany between 1994 and 2006.

“It’s difficult to compare him with goalkeepers of the past because it’s difficult to compare different generations, but at the moment he is the best goalkeeper in the world.

“He has all the range of a goalkeeper and is the best in everything he does. He’s not a goalkeeper, more of a field player, and that’s the most difference to the other goalkeepers,” he said.

The 28-year-old German has played a key part in Germany’s successful run at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil by dominating his penalty area and pulling off a string of key saves.

Kahn, who was an absolute colossus between the sticks for both Bayern Munich and Germany and probably the best keeper when confronted with a one-on-one situation with an opposition player, feels the France’s Zidane is the best player against whom he had played. “In my time Zidane was the best. I rate him as one of the best field player,” he said,

Talking about all-time best player in his opinion, the former German captain has no second though as he named Diego Maradona.

“He was simply the best, but it was my luck that I didn’t have to play against him,” he said.

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