Few players showed greater
aggression and hunger for victory than Oliver Kahn, yet even the
former Germany and Bayern Munich goalkeeper is impressed by
Borussia Dortmund's will to win.
Dortmund, eight points clear of Bayern at the top of the
Bundesliga, can wrap up their second successive league title on
Saturday with two games to spare with a home win against
fourth-placed Borussia Monchengladbach.
Kahn was particularly impressed by the way Dortmund defender
Never Subotic ran up behind Arjen Robben and shouted at him
after the Bayern's Dutch winger missed a late penalty in last
week's match between the two sides, which Dortmund won 1-0.
"That is exactly the kind of mentality you need, it
expresses the unlimited will to win," Kahn told Sport Bild
magazine in an interview. "It says: 'I want to win the title at
"What is striking for me is the hunger for success and the
huge identification that [coach] Jurgen Klopp and the team have
with the club," Kahn added.
The 42-year-old also tipped Dortmund to beat Bayern for a
fifth time in a row when the two meet again in the German Cup
final at the end of the season.
"I have my doubts whether the Bayern players can deal with
that defeat positively, and that they may lose a fifth game in a
row," he said.
Kahn was involved in a number of memorable matches against
Dortmund during his playing days, and the sight of the yellow
and black team seemed to bring out the most aggressive in him.
The low point came when he aimed a flying kick at Dortmund
forward Stephane Chapusiat, bit Heiko Herrlich on the neck and
pulled Andreas Moller's ear during an action-packed match in
Kahn added that Dortmund's presence could benefit Bayern in
the long term.
"Competition means that you are always being asked questions
and that you will never be allowed to get sluggish or lazy," he
For the second season running, Dortmund's young team,
orchestrated by their charismatic coach Klopp, have
taken the Bundesliga by storm with their intense, non-stop,
The general consensus is that they have wanted the title
more than arch-rivals Bavarians, whose eyes are fixed on the
Champions League and the possibility of playing in the final in
their own Allianz Arena stadium.
Dortmund, who looked upon the Champions League as a chance
to gain international experience, finished bottom of their
group, leaving them to concentrate on domestic football.
The 44-year-old is known for his exuberant celebrations and
Germany is already braced for his performance on Saturday if, as
expected, they wrap up the title.
Dortmund, who are playing in the evening game, may even have
clinched the title before kick-off if Bayern fail to win their
match away to Werder Bremen.
That match falls in between the two legs of their Champions
League semi-final against Real Madrid, with Bayern having won
the first leg 2-1 at home last Tuesday.
At the other end, hapless Kaiserslautern (20 points) will be
relegated if they fail to beat Hertha Berlin (28) in a clash of
the two bottom sides, or if Cologne pick up a
point at home to VfB Stuttgart.
Four points adrift of 15th-placed Augsburg, Cologne will be
happy to settle for 16th place, which would lead them into to a
two-leg play-off against a team from the second division.
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