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Monday, 1 July, 2002, 13:31 GMT 14:31 UK

Kahn shoulders the blame

By Phil McNulty
BBC Sport Online in Yokohama

Germany goalkeeper Oliver Kahn admitted he was inconsolable after his error gifted Ronaldo the goal that set Brazil on the path to victory in the World Cup final.

But he refused to blame his finger ligament injury for his costly mistake.

Kahn marred an outstanding tournament by fumbling Rivaldo's shot to the feet of Ronaldo in the 66th minute.

The World Cup's leading scorer duly slotted the first of his double in Brazil's 2-0 win.

Kahn was comforted on the pitch by German coach Rudi Voeller and referee Pierluigi Collina after the game.

But he confessed their words had "zero effect" on him.

Kahn, who also revealed he had played with ligament damage to a finger, said: "Rudi spoke a few words of comfort to me.

"But those words have zero effect after what happened to me here.

"It was the one mistake I have made in our seven games here, and unfortunately for me it was brutally punished by Ronaldo."

And of the injury Kahn said: "That has nothing to do with the goal.

"A finger ligament is torn, it will take a few weeks to heal, but never mind, we have a couple of weeks holiday now."

Kahn also confirmed he was feeling like a man suffering from the "Curse of Collina" after the Italian referee took charge of another match that spelled misery for Germany.

Kahn said: "He came and spoke to me, but no words of comfort work in this situation.

"He may be a world-class referee but he doesn't bring me any luck.

"He refereed our game in the Champions League when Manchester United beat us as we had the trophy in our hands, and also in Germany's 5-1 defeat against England in Munich."

" From tomorrow Germany are going to concentrate on just one goal, the 2006 World Cup "
German defender
Christoph Metzelder

Kahn added: "I won't be making the mistake of saying that this means everything is bad for Germany in this World Cup because we lost the final.

"This would not do any justice to our efforts, particularly when a few people did not think we would make it past the group stage.

"The memories of the German team should be good ones - they should not be destroyed by one unlucky goal.

"We have finished as runners-up in the World Cup and we feel we can build the team for the future.

"The thing that has seen us through this World Cup has been our tremendous team spirit, no squabbling, no inflated egos - this has kept us afloat.

"We wanted to make sure people forget the memories of Euro 2000 and I think we have done that.

"But for me it is a time of bitter disappointment, and while I appreciate people trying to comfort me, this is a time when I cannot be consoled."

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