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Oliver Kahn insists the experience of registering more than 100 UEFA Champions League appearances has not numbed his taste for the big occasion - as he looks to "add salt to the soup" and help FC Bayern München into the semi-finals.
'Very good result'
The veteran goalkeeper was suspended last week, forced to watch the game against AC Milan from the sidelines as the Bundesliga outfit twice went behind before salvaging the 2-2 draw which makes Bayern narrow favourites for the return at the Fußball Arena München. However, with 102 matches in this competition to his name, Kahn knows the tie is far from over. "We came away from Milan with a very good result, but they are a big team with world-class players who know how to win," he warned.
The same can be said of Kahn after the 37-year-old became the most successful footballer to play in the Bundesliga by claiming his 291st league win on Saturday, in far fewer games than it took Hamburger SV legend Manfred Kaltz. Bayern's 2-1 victory at Hannover 96 was rather less impressive, though, and Kahn believes only an immediate improvement will see his side through to the last four for the first time since their 2000/01 UEFA Champions League triumph. "If we play like we did at the weekend, it will be disastrous. It's typical of this year: we play badly against poorer teams and very well against the big sides."
'Always a thrill'
Six-time European Champion Clubs' Cup winners Milan undeniably fall into the latter category, and Bayern performed well in Italy last week, with Kahn's understudy Michael Rensing making a string of stunning saves that led to coach Ottmar Hitzfeld declaring "the future is his". The present is Kahn's, however, with the former German international a virtual certainty to start against Milan. Yet with all his experience does he still feel the pinpricks of excitement before these nights? "It's always a thrill to play in the Champions League and games like these are always a highlight," Kahn said. "They add the salt to the soup."
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