Lehmann beats Kahn in race for keepers' jersey

7th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

7 April 2006, FRANKFURT, GERMANY - The German football association (DFB) on Friday confirmed that Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann will be the German first choice goalkeeper at the World Cup finals later this year.

7 April 2006

FRANKFURT, GERMANY - The German football association (DFB) on Friday confirmed that Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann will be the German first choice goalkeeper at the World Cup finals later this year.

Lehmann and former captain Oliver Kahn were both vying for the number one position and Germany coach Juergen Klinsmann had earlier said he would only decide in a few weeks, but Bild newspaper said that Klinsmann told Lehmann, 36, on Friday that he would be the first choice keeper.

The DFB has confirmed the report.

Klinsmann is said to have met with Kahn in Munich on Friday to tell him of his decision.

Kahn issued a statement on Friday saying that he was very disappointed. "I am very surprised and terribly disappointed. I will say something about my future with the national team at a later stage."

Klinsmann said that it had been the most difficult decision since taking over the job. "I decided to go ahead and clarify the position now as there was so much pressure on all concerned.

"After the game against the U.S. we looked at the situation over the past 22 months and took our decision."

He praised Kahn for the way in which he had accepted the decision. "Of course he is disappointed, but he took it as a real sports person."

German goalkeeper coach Andreas Koepke said that there were only very minor differences between the two goalkeepers. "Both are excellent keepers, but we believe that Jens Lehmann is more suited to our playing philosophy."

DPA

Subject: German news

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