Goalkeeper Oliver Kahn has become the fourth player to make a 100th UEFA Champions League appearance against FC Internazionale Milano this evening.
Kahn joined Real Madrid CF stars Raúl González, Roberto Carlos and David Beckham in the UEFA Champions League's 100 Club, with Paolo Maldini set to join the same select band if he turns out in AC Milan's game against LOSC Lille Métropole on Wednesday.
Germany goalkeeper Kahn's achievement has not gone unnoticed in Bavaria. "I was in nirvana," screamed the back page of regional newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung as they opted to focus not on the match that will decide who finishes top of Group B, but on the finest hour of one of Bayern's greatest ever servants.
Kahn's debut in the competition back in 1994 following his switch from Karlsruher SC may have ended in defeat against a George Weah-powered Paris Saint-Germain FC, yet it was a minor low in a career that has been marked by highs, culminating in the "nirvana" of 2000/01 UEFA Champions League.
Kahn was central to that achievement, his man of the match accolade just reward for a superb performance that saw him deny Mauricio Pellegrino in the penalty shoot-out after extra time had ended 1-1. It helped vanquish the ghosts of two years earlier when Kahn conceded twice in injury time as Manchester United FC snatched victory from Bayern's grasp in dramatic fashion.
It was a day the 86-capped German international has since described as "hell", but the determination that has marked his career saw him storm back. Now 37, he holds an indelible place in the hearts of many Bayern fans, who sing his ode 'Olli Kahn' by German pop group Die Prinzen before every home match. They were in fine voice tonight as he made his 100th appearance in the competition, excluding games in the qualifying rounds.
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