The ancient phrase of ‘catch the ball, boot it up’ and the evolving art of the goalkeeper in the modern game

“Goalkeepers need an element of insanity.”

These words from former goalkeeper Oliver Kahn, one of the most successful German players in recent history, have been repeated many times over the years.

As someone who has played in goal I can understand that sentiment. You’re expected to be alert every second of every game, make the important saves, constantly talk to your defenders and be prepared to throw yourself in front of anything. As Peter Cech found out in 2006, that last one can sometimes be painful.

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Advent Day 1 – The wrath of Oliver Kahn

By Kieran Ahuja

Seeing as Germany invented the advent calendar, it seems apt to begin this advent series with a big Deutsch number eins. And they don’t come much bigger than Oliver Kahn. Standing at 6 feet 2 inches with a commanding shout that made him seem double that height, ‘the titan’ won 8 Bundesligas, 6 German Cups, the UEFA Cup, the Champions League, and 3 World Goalkeeper of the Year awards.

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