Oliver Kahn does not reckon Germany have one magnificent outfield player and has explained the keys to FIFA World Cup™ holders’ success. Three Germans – Toni Kroos, Manuel Neuer and Mesut Ozil – made the initial 23-man shortlist for The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2016, but neither made the final three, which consists of Antoine Griezmann, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
“At the moment, we do not have an absolutely exceptional player like Messi or Ronaldo, but we are rich in top players such as Muller, Boateng, Ozil, Gotze and Reus,” the 47-year-old former goalkeeper told Sportskeeda.
“The reasons for this [success] are their mental and physical strength. They have an absolute sense of victory and also the ability through an optimal preparation to get the best possible performance at the right time.”
Nonetheless, Kahn does believe Germany boast the planet’s top goalkeeper.
“In my opinion, Manuel Neuer is currently the world's best goalkeeper. I myself was only complete at the age of 30. Manuel was much earlier. One of the reasons for this is the much better education in the youth field. The young players are much better today and play on a different level.”
Germany head Group C in Russia 2018 qualifying, five points clear of second-placed Northern Ireland. They are trying to qualify for a 17th successive World Cup. Joachim Low's team have been drawn in Group A in next year's FIFA Confederations Cup, along with Australia, Chile and the soon-to-be-determined African champions.
Kahn kept five clean sheets in six matches to drive Germany into the Korea/Japan 2002 final, where they lost 2-0 to Brazil. The Karlsruhe native finished that tournament with the adidas Golden Ball and remains the only defensive player to have won the award.