Oliver Kahn was not missing many days until his 39th birthday when he played his last games as a soccer goalkeeper, he won against Bielefeld, Duisburg and Hertha, and four minutes after he was overcome one last time by a certain Valeri Domowtschijski, he was replaced forever. That was in the summer of 2008, a few years ago, and yet this review also explains why Kahn took a clear position a few months before his 51st birthday in what is perhaps the most complicated personnel debate at FC Bayern at the moment.
“In general, as I have shown myself, goalkeepers can of course play into old age,” said Bayern board member Kahn der Sports picture said it was a plea to extend the contract with the current Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. The captain’s contract ends in 2021, his adviser was sighted on Säbener Strasse a few days ago, and the newcomer is reported to have requested a five-year contract – the talks have been postponed. In May 2025, Neuer would be 39 years and a few days old.
At FC Bayern, they are currently quite surprised that Neuer, who had hardly been involved in a conflict with his over-diplomatic appearance for years, suddenly fights relentlessly for his own interests. They don’t want to lose Neuer, not this summer, and actually not in the next either, although they have already chosen Schalke Alexander Nübel as their successor. Nübel comes in July, he should play from time to time, but above all he should learn from Neuer, Kahn said: “Not many have the opportunity to work with the best goalkeeper in the world every day.” But for five years? Newer contract would last as long as that of 23-year-old Nübel.
Neuer knows that Kahn knows what he’s talking about
Kahn’s statements should help to calm the Neuer camp. Thomas Müller, whose contract the club also plans to extend beyond 2021, are “club identifiers who stand for success and continuity,” said Kahn sports director Hasan Salihamidzic, working on these issues in a targeted and structured manner. Müller, 30, and Bayern shouldn’t be far apart in their conversations, unlike in poker with Neuer. The club reportedly offered a contract until 2023.
In the high age of soccer goalkeepers, Kahn said, it was “a big challenge to maintain the high level”. Kahn struggled with an elbow injury and back problems among other things in his last season – but nobody doubts that Neuer is ambitious enough to take care of his body, which has been troubled again and again in recent years. Nobody dares to predict whether Kahn’s advertising could now speed up the talks. Neuer knows that Kahn knows what he’s talking about.
Michael Rensing came on for Kahn in May 2008, who had been built up as a successor for years, but was soon to leave the club. But that’s really a different story.