Oliver Kahn won an award for his actions immediately after the 2001 Champions League final


Oliver Kahn is one of the greatest goalkeepers football has ever seen.

The legendary shot-stopper spent 14 seasons for Bayern Munich and represented the German national side on 86 occasions.

Kahn was at the peak of his powers at the turn of the millennium.

He, rather predictably, claimed the Bundesliga title during the 2000/01 season, while he also produced a Man of the Match performance in the Champions League final to help the Bavarians overcome Valencia.

He came third in the Ballon d’Or that year for his heroics and finished in the same position a year later after helping Germany to the World Cup final – a World Cup in which he won the Golden Ball for the best player during the competition.


Conclusion: Kahn had an incredible career and won plenty of trophies and accolades.

However, there’s one award he received that he treasures just as much as the trophies he won.

We’ve already mentioned how Kahn won the Man of the Match during the 2001 Champions League final. The final between Bayern and Valencia finished 1-1 before Kahn made three saves in the penalty shootout to win Europe’s elite competition.

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What made it even sweeter for Kahn and his teammates was the fact it came two years after they dramatically lost to Manchester United in devastating circumstances in the final.

While Kahn’s first instinct was to celebrate, his attention then immediately turned to Valencia’s goalkeeper, Santiago Canizares. The Spaniard had broken down in tears on the goal line and Kahn waved away his teammates before going over to console his fellow ‘keeper.

Take a look:


Kahn’s actions earned him the UEFA Fair-Play Award and Kahn explained why he felt it was an important thing to do.

“[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 legendary goalkeeper and a legendary bloke.

Take a bow, Oliver Kahn.

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