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Brehme: I would do it all again!

Former German internationals Andreas Brehme (L) and Lothar Matthaeus
© Foto-net

Andreas Brehme is today regarded as one of the best left-sided defenders that the game has ever known. The German, who was capped 86 times for his country, became legendary for his elegant play, accurate crosses and deadly shooting with either foot. Here, the 48-year-old takes time to answer a few questions from

* Mr Brehme, when fans around the world hear your name, they think instinctively of the penalty you scored in the FIFA World Cup™ Final in 1990 against Argentina that gave Germany their third world title. Do you still enjoy casting your mind back to that evening in Rome?
Andreas Brehme: *
Oh yes, very much so. Those were some incredible moments and I get goose bumps whenever I think of them. Those are the kind of experiences that you never forget.

Tell us, what you were thinking of in the seconds before you ran up to take the spot kick...*
[laughs] Can I remember what went through my mind at these crucial moments? No, of course not. I don't think I actually thought of anything. All I wanted was to see the ball hit the back of the net. And when I saw that it was in, I was relieved and overjoyed more than you could possibly imagine.

What do you think of when you look back on your career?*
I have so many wonderful memories. Obviously there was that World Cup win in 1990, but then there was also the time I spent at Inter Milan with Lothar Matthaus and Jurgen Klinsmann. I had a great time in Italy, I really did. And then I also like thinking back to my seasons with Kaiserslautern. Those will always be special times - they were very emotional years.

Would you do it all again if you had the chance?*
Yes, I certainly would. I would do exactly the same all over again, no question.

What are you up to at the moment?*
I work as an ambassador for the German Football Association, representing them and attending a lot of meetings. I was at Oliver Kahn's farewell match, for example.

Kahn was quite a character, certainly his own man. Do you think he will be missed?
We'll miss him a lot, as Oliver was not just an incredible goalkeeper but also a real personality. Footballers with a bit of character seem to be a dying breed, and he was definitely one of those.

Germany*'s star player at the moment is Michael Ballack. Is he a true great?*
**Michael is a great player and he has such ability. I don't think that he deserves to be considered on the same level as someone like Lothar Matthaus though. Lothar holds the record for German caps and won a World Cup as well. I do hope Michael goes on to win a big international tournament at some point in his career though.

Can Ballack lead *Germany* to the world title at *South Africa* 2010?*
That won't be easy, but Germany have always had teams that rise to the big occasion, so anything is possible.

What was your opinion of UEFA EURO 2008, which was the highpoint of the footballing year in *Europe?
It was a very exciting tournament and it had a very worthy winner. Spain were the strongest team and won at a canter.

You've already had some coaching experience with *Kaiserslautern, Unterhaching and as Giovanni Trapattoni's assistant at *Stuttgart**. Would you like to coach again at some point?

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