8640 Diamonds For Oliver Kahn
Oliver Kahn, one of the greats of world football, made one last appear¬ance abroad on 27 May 2008, when the 38-year-old goalkeeper played his penultimate match for Bayern Munich in front of a crowd of 120,000 in the tropical heat of Kolkata, India. The German giants won the friendly against Mohun Bagan AC, the oldest foot¬ball club in Asia, 3-0. Despite the 40-degree heat, the thunderous welcome in the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata was enough to send shivers down the spine even of Kahn, who can look back on 21 years as a professional and 14 seasons at Bayern Munich. “It’s quite some¬thing special to play your last match abroad in front of such a huge crowd,” said the Bayern captain. Neither he nor his Bayern team-mates had ever played in front of so many people be¬fore. Kahn made way for his successor Michael Rensing in the 55th minute, leaving the field to tumultuous ap¬plause from the Indian fans. Before his final match abroad, Kahn was pre¬sented with a gold trophy adorned with 8,640 diamonds by the hosts, and during the half-time interval he was showered with cups and other awards. “Many thanks. This is a great moment in my career,” said Kahn, who will bid farewell to his Munich fans in a match against the German na¬tional team at the Allianz Arena in August. Kahn, a FIFA World Cup™ finalist in 2002, Champions League and Intercontinental Cup Winner in 2001, UEFA Cup winner and European Championship winner in 1996, eight-time German champion and six-time German Cup winner, was voted Best European Goalkeeper four times, World’s Best Goalkeeper three times and German Footballer of the Year twice. He will work as a football pun¬dit for the German television channel ZDF in future.