Kahn backs German sides to triumph in Europe

Former Germany goalkeeper Oliver Kahn has backed a German side to win some European silverware after a number of Bundesliga clubs have made an impressive start in continental competition.

The 43-year-old was named Man of the Match when Bayern Munich won the Champions League in 2001 but no German club has since tasted glory outside of their domestic game.

But the 2002 Golden Ball winner believes that this season could be different after all seven of the country’s representatives – Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Schalke, Hannover, Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Monchengladbach and Stuttgart – have put in good performances in the group stages.

The Bundesliga has a good chance to be represented by all seven clubs in the knockout stages of the Champions League or in the second round of the Europa League,” he explained to Bild.

“Hannover and Leverkusen have already qualified, whilst all others have it in their own hands to reach the next round.

Kahn also feels that football in the country is going through an excellent period due to the fortunes of its teams and the popularity of the game after the success of hosting the 2006 World Cup.

There is evidence that the Bundesliga is in a ‘golden age’,” he continued.

“The sporting and economic conditions in this country are at least better than in other European leagues. Studies have shown that football has more than 40 million people interested in it in Germany.

“The 2006 World Cup has left the majority of football clubs with high-tech infrastructure and consistently high attendances.”

The veteran, who appeared 86 times for Germany, also gave a warning to German sides regarding spending large sums of money on players that may not be part of a long-term plan.

He continued: “The prerequisites for a positive future in the Bundesliga are there. However, we have to learn from the past. Of the 36 German first and second division teams, almost half have recently been in the red.

Therefore, it is desirable to invest the additional revenues not only in players’ wages and transfers. A perspective on club development should not be sacrificed for short-term success.”

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