Oliver Khan, the Germany skipper at the 2002 FIFA World Cup™, says current keeper Manuel Neuer and English rival David James must get their minds right if Sunday's last-16 tie comes down to a dreaded penalty shoot-out.
Old enemies England and Germany meet in Bloemfontein with a quarter-final spot at stake, conscious that their meetings at UEFA EURO 1996 and the 1990 FIFA World Cup were decided by penalties, with Germany coming out on top on both occasions. England were also beaten by Portugal at EURO 2004 and the 2006 FIFA World Cup on penalties.
Kahn, whose German side were runners-up to Brazil in 2002, says a shoot-out is a psychological battle of wills between the penalty-takers and the goalkeeper. "The psychological battle between the keeper and player is often invisible to the spectators," said the 41-year-old, who retired in May 2008.
"In order to be able to save a penalty, you always need a certain amount of luck, but there are other facets: you need to do your homework and prepare. You need to familiarise yourself with who will be taking the penalty, what preference this player has, which corner he tends to prefer.
"You can read a lot from the body language of the taker and where he will shoot the ball. It has a lot to do with eye-contact. You can see whether a player is fearful and you can see from the eyes if he makes a small mistake where that ball will go."
Since the first FIFA World Cup match was decided by a penalty shoot-out in 1982, 20 knockout stage games have been settled by the system. Both the Finals of 1994, won by Brazil, and 2006, when Italy were champions, were decided by spot-kicks.
In FIFA World Cup history, a total of 198 penalties have been awarded in matches and 160 were converted (81 percent) with only 22 saved by the goalkeeper -- the remaining 16 were all misses.
In all of his 86 appearances for Germany, Kahn was never involved in a penalty shoot-out for the national side, but his saves in the 2001 UEFA Champions League final, which was decided by spot-kicks, helped Bayern Munich lift the European title.