Champions League 100 club: Oliver Kahn

A UEFA Champions League winner in 2001, former Bayern goalkeeper Oliver Kahn is the second player to feature in our series focusing on the players who racked up a century of appearances in Europe’s premier club competition.


The numbers

Watch Kahn in action

Watch Kahn in action

Appearances: 103
Goals: 0
Clean sheets: 34

Best performance: winner (Bayern, 2001)

If you don’t remember him …

Incredible reaction time, strength in 1v1 situations and natural leadership skills – Kahn was a more-than-reliable No1 for Bayern for fully 14 years. The intimidating goalkeeper had his most memorable spell between 1999 and 2002; he was on the losing side in the dramatic 1999 UEFA Champions League final against Manchester United before helping Bayern beat Valencia on penalties in Milan two years later. In 2002, Kahn starred as Germany reached the FIFA World Cup final, albeit he became the tragic hero when his mistake gifted Brazil victory.

How he made it to 100 appearances

Kahn recalls Bayern's redemption of 2001

Kahn recalls Bayern’s redemption of 2001

Kahn played the first of his 557 Bundesliga matches for Karlsruhe, excelling over four seasons (and several times against Bayern) to prompt the Bavarian giants to sign him in 1994. He immediately began playing in the UEFA Champions League, where his eye-catching displays helped Bayern piece together some fine campaigns. Visually striking with a great command of his area, he was involved in 11 Champions League seasons, leading from the back and ruthlessly barrelling over team-mates to get the ball in goalmouth scrambles.  

His best moments

  • Saving three penalties as Bayern won the 2001 final shoot-out.

  • Immediately going to console Valencia keeper Santiago Cañizares after that victory.

  • He says the save of his career was a block in a 1-0 win against Rangers that ensured Bayern made it through the 1999/2000 first group stage.

What others said about him

Kahn retired in 2008

Kahn retired in 2008©Getty Images

“There has never been anyone with as professional an attitude as Oliver Kahn. His whole life is arranged to reap perfection. He always wanted to become the perfect goalkeeper.”
Sepp Maier, former West Germany goalkeeper

“Oliver Kahn and Manuel Neuer are both perfect goalkeepers, but Oliver Kahn was a bit quicker on the line.”
Ottmar Hitzfeld, former Bayern coach

“I was introduced to him in 2002. I sat next to him that day. The first time he spoke to me was in 2005.”
Bastian Schweinsteiger, former Bayern team-mate on his future mentor

“You are best to run far away and celebrate somewhere else.”
Nico Patschinski, former St Pauli player on how to react after scoring past Kahn

“‘King Kahn’ or ‘the Titan’, they called him – which says it all. He is certainly a very different character to me, and it’s fair to say he was quite eccentric. I don’t know if that helps a goalkeeper, but it certainly worked for Kahn.”
Iker Casillas, former Real Madrid goalkeeper

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