Jens Lehmann's ambition of a recall to the Germany team has taken yet another knock, with team manager Oliver Bierhoff insisting the issue is closed.
Having kept Germany's goal during UEFA EURO 2008, Lehmann retired from international football having won 61 caps in August last year, but after extending his Stuttgart contract recently, he has made it clear he wants to play for Germany again.
With Hanover's Robert Enke and Leverkusen's Rene Adler battling for the No1 shirt, Lehmann even told last Sunday's edition of Bild he expects to be called up again before next year's World Cup. However, both Germany goalkeeper coach Andreas Kopke and head coach Joachim Low have said it is highly unlikely Lehmann will be selected again and now Bierhoff has also said the issue is closed.
A player can have all the hope in the world, but for us the Jens Lehmann file is closed.
"A player can have all the hope in the world, but for us the Jens Lehmann file is closed," said Bierhoff. With tongue firmly planted in cheek, Bierhoff added: "Perhaps Andreas Kopke will want to be in goal again" refering to the 47-year-old national team coach.
Bierhoff's comments come after Werder Bremen goalkeeper Tim Wiese, who is also competing for the No1 shirt, claimed Lehmann is deluding himself. "(Lehmann) is completely over-estimating himself and he's lost his sense of reality," Wiese told Bild. "It's a shame, he was nice enough before he joined Stuttgart. Now he is constantly stirring things up and it's starting to annoy me."
And Lehmann's comments have not been backed up by his performances this season, especially after he was at fault in his side's 2-1 win at Bochum recently when he accidentally carried the ball over his own goal-line. "He should reflect on that goal he conceded against Bochum," concluded Wiese.