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   June 27, 2002 | 1645 IST


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Kahn feels Germany will tame Brazil

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Captain Oliver Kahn says Germany need to play the game of their lives against Brazil in Sunday's World Cup final -- and he is optimistic they will do so to become champions.

Kahn, one of the few who had predicted that Germany could have a great tournament, said on Thursday he could see the triple world champions' revival taking them to their fourth title.

"I've got a feeling telling me that we will be the world champions," said the goalkeeper, who was instrumental in his side's run to the final. "I can't really explain why."

But there was a condition and that was Germany stepping up a gear to rise to the occasion.

"Every one of us has to play the game of his life," the German skipper said.

The Bayern Munich keeper was full of praise for Brazil, whom Germany have surprisingly never met in the showcase tournament's 72-year history, but he sounded as confident as ever.

"They're probably the best team in the world in terms of individual players with exceptional people in every position. But the team with the most gifted players do not always win."


His words echo those of Germany coach Rudi Voeller, who is a great Brazil fan but knows from experience that brilliance alone does not win titles.

"If the best team always won the World Cup, then Brazil would have won it 14 times, not just four," said the former Germany striker, who lifted the trophy in 1990.

Expecting a festival of fluent, attacking football on the Yokohama pitch might be too much to ask for, said Kahn.

"Finals are often decided on small things, sometimes on luck. It may be that the teams will neutralise each other, like what happened in 1994," he added, referring to Brazil's win over Italy on penalties after an uneventful match in the World Cup final.

Kahn said he was aware Brazil had artists capable of scoring at any time but the 33-year-old, who has conceded just one goal so far in the finals, did not sound too worried.

"I have all due respect for Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Rivaldo, who are fantastic players, but they still have to beat me," he said.


Midfielder Dietmar Hamann was equally upbeat, saying: "We have respect but no fear."

The Liverpool player was naturally aware of the criticism of Germany's unspectacular performances, notably from the British media, but he was not upset.

"I find the headlines amusing," the Liverpool player said. "It shows that we must be doing everything right."

Britain's Daily Telegraph described the triple world champions as "robots" after Tuesday's 1-0 semi-final victory over South Korea and several other newspapers slammed Germany for their unspectacular playing style.

"I'd rather have that than the pity some felt for us after Euro 2000," added the Hamann, referring to Germany's shock first-round exit from that tournament.

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