Remember when Olivier Kahn won an award for his actions after 2001 Champions League final

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The Champions League is the biggest prize you can win in domestic football.

All the best clubs on the continent do battle to lift the famous trophy come the end of the season.

All eyes will be on the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday evening as Real Madrid and Juventus do battle to win this season’s edition.

While finals are usually cagey affairs with so much to play for, we’ve seen some incredible matches and moments down the years.

Manchester United’s dramatic victory over Bayern Munich in 1999, Liverpool’s incredible comeback against AC Milan in 2005 and Real Madrid’s 4-1 extra-time win against Atletico Madrid in 2014 will all live long in the memory.

But it’s not all about winning.

Behaving in a dignified manner when you’ve just won the Champions League isn’t really in the forefront of players’ minds.

Well, except for Oliver Kahn, that is.

Kahn was the hero as Bayern Munich beat Valencia on penalties in the 2001 Champions League final.

After it finished 1-1 after extra-time, the match was settled on penalties.

And Kahn topped off his Man of the Match performance by saving THREE spot-kicks in the shootout to help his side lift the ‘Big Ears’ trophy.

But Kahn was in no mood to celebrate.

After momentarily taking the plaudits from his Bayern teammates, the legendary goalkeeper went over to console Valencia ‘keeper Santiago Canizares - who had broken down in tears on the goal line.

Watch: Kahn's incredible moment

Take a look:

Kahn explains why he did it

It was an act that earned him a fair play award, an accolade he treasures next to his other trophies in his house.

“[Santiago] Canizares laid down on the goal line and started to cry,” Kahn recalled.

“I could feel for him as I experienced something similar in 1999. What stays is that feeling, the feeling of having won the title, that feeling right after that missed or saved penalty - those are moment you never forget.

“Celebrating is nice but it’s not what stays with you.”

A moment of brilliance from Kahn.

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Xabi Alonso
Bayern Munich
Germany Football

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