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Thursday, 27 June, 2002, 15:12 GMT 16:12 UK
Kahn: It's the match of our lives
Robbie Keane is the only player to have beaten Kahn so far
Robbie Keane is the only player to have beaten Kahn so far
Germany v Brazil | Final | Yokohama
Sun Jun 30 2002 | 1200 BST
BBC1 and Radio Five Live

Oliver Kahn thinks Brazil have been the best team in the World Cup, but has a gut feeling that Germany will win Sunday's final.

Kahn concedes that Brazil have the better individual players and that Germany "will have to play the match of our lives" to beat them in Yokohama.

Open Quote
I have a gut feeling that I can't explain that we will go home with the cup
Close Quote
Oliver Kahn

But the German goalkeeper and skipper has great faith in his team-mates and is confident they can win.

"There's no doubt Brazil have been the best team in this tournament," he said on Thursday.

"One thing that is for sure is that we will not beat Brazil if we do not play 100%. Even that may not be enough and we will have to play the match of our lives.

"In all positions they have stars, but that doesn't mean the team consisting of the best individual players can beat us.

"I have a gut feeling that I can't explain that we will go home with the cup."

Kahn, who has been beaten by only the Republic of Ireland's Robbie Keane during the tournament, has never lacked confidence.

He is unconcerned about facing Brazil's "Three Rs' - Rivaldo, Ronaldo and Ronaldinho.

No goalkeeper has kept a clean sheet against the three forwards during the World Cup and they have accounted for 13 Brazilian goals in their march to the final.

Kahn is looking forward to playing the
Kahn is looking forward to confronting the "Three Rs"

But a nonchalant Kahn claims he is well used to playing against the world's best strikers in the Bundesliga and Champions League.

"They are exceptional players, but for me as a goalkeeper that's nothing out of the ordinary," he said.

"On a club level with Bayern Munich, I play against the top forwards in the world on an almost weekly basis.

"I'm full of respect for them as world-class players, but they still have to show they can beat me."

Between them Germany and Brazil have won the World Cup seven times, featured in 12 finals and only once since the Second World War (in Argentina in 1978) has one of them failed to make it to the last game.

Incredibly this will be the first World Cup game between the two teams in what Kahn describes as "the dream final".

He said: "It's the record four-times champions Brazil against three-times winners Germany.

Open Quote
It will be the match of our lives and we have to play the match of ourlives
Close Quote
Oliver Kahn

"You can't call it a classic, though, because we've never played each other in the World Cup before.

"But, for football fans it's a dream final. It's the final everyone had been hoping for.

"Brazil are a great team and Germany still enjoy great recognition because of their achievements in the past and also what we've done in this World Cup."

It will also be a dream final for Kahn and even though he has won everything there is to win with Bayern Munich, including the Champions League.

He claims nothing compares to the World Cup final and knows that, at 33, this may be his last chance of lifting the World Cup.

"This is different from anything else. To play in the final will be extraordinary. You're not just representing your club, but your country.

"There are millions back home supporting you and you realise that in your career you can only hope to play in the final maybe once or twice.

"It will be the match of our lives and we have to play the match of ourlives."


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