Reuters Soccer Blog
World Soccer views and news
Former Germany goalkeeper Jens Lehmann is no stranger to controversy. But in recent weeks he has stirred up a debate despite being in the twilight of his playing days.
First he delayed the publication of his memoirs for next year and then signed another one-year contract extension with Stuttgart after saying last year this was his final season.
Everyone asked why. Then came the reason.
The former Arsenal keeper, 39, stunned the nation with his admission that he wants to compete in another World Cup, in South Africa next year, overriding his international retirement following Germany’s 1-0 loss to Spain in the Euro 2008 final.
Germany boss Joachim Loew and national goalkeeping coach Andreas Koepke quickly ruled out calling up Lehmann again, saying it would be a bad signal for the younger keepers.
The great and the good of German soccer have been quick to condemn Kevin Kuranyi after the Schalke 04 striker walked away from the national team at the weekend.
Former Germany coach Franz Beckenbauer said Kuranyi’s behaviour was “ridiculous” and had overshadowed the good impression Germany made in their 2-1 win over Russia.
UEFA’s decision to banish mild-mannered coach Joachim Loew from the touchline for Thursday’s quarter-final against Portugal is being put down to anti-German feeling by a lot of people here, a suspicion fanned by the angry response from German FA bosses.
It’s not the first time Germany have been hit with what neutral observers (I’d like to consider myself one of those) might view as a rather harsh penalty just before a critical match.