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'Germany would have won WC with me'

Former German international goalie Oliver Kahn, relegated to the bench during the 2006 World Cup says that he should have been first choice keeper.

india Updated: Dec 22, 2006 19:44 IST

Former German international goalkeeper Oliver Kahn, relegated to the bench during the 2006 World Cup, insisted onFriday it was only logical that they would have been world champions if he had been in goal.

With Jens Lehmann in goal, hosts Germany finished third in the competition after being knocked out in the semi-finals by eventual champions Italy.

But 37-year-old Kahn believes that logically he should have been first choice keeper.

"I'm not criticising what Jens Lehmann did, but with me Germany would have been world champions," Kahn, 37, told weekly magazine Stern.

"I'm convinced of it because the way my career has evolved points in that direction," said Kahn, who retired from the national side after sealing the bronze medal with a 3-1 win over Portugal.

"In 1994 with Karlsruhe, I reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup - two years later I won this trophy with Bayern Munich," he explained.

"In 1999, I lost the Champions League final in the harshest circumstances (losing 2-1 to Manchester United in stoppage time) before winning this competition two years later."

Kahn, who is under contract with Bayern Munich until 2008, said that he had tried to explain his theory to World Cup coach Jurgen Klinsmann before the competition but "he didn't understand or didn't want to understand".

"I told him 'I don't understand why you won't admit that I'm right'," he added.

First Published: Dec 22, 2006 19:44 IST