From Sab Ekeh in Cologne
Germany goalkeeping legend Oliver Kahn was left red in the face when unheralded South Korea bundled his country out of the 2018 World Cup, 24 hours after he had mocked Nigeria’s Super Eagles who were eliminated in Group D following a 2-1 loss to Argentina.
Khan, who was in goal in the 2-0 World Cup final loss to brazil in Japan/Korea 2002, was a guest analyst on German television station ZDF and was less than charitable to the Nigerians.
Asked for his opinion about Nigeria’s performance in the game, the former Bayern Munich captain was dismissive of the Super Eagles.
“Nigerians are full of emotions and they tend to overrate themselves. But they are not good enough to compete at this level,” he said among other uncomplimentary things.
Barely a day later, Germany who are the defending champions of the World Cup were knocked out of the competition after winning just one of three group games.
Korea Republic thumped Germany 2-0 to send them packing and it was an embarrased Kahn who was left with the duty of explaining away Germany’s worst performance in 80 years.
He went ahead to insult the German players but set Toni Kroos ahead for particular mention, calling him all sorts of names for what he described as a pathetic performance from the Real Madrid midfielder.
It was the fourth time in the last five editions that a reigning champion will be kicked out after the first round. 1998 champions France were kicked out in 2002 while 2006 winners Italy failed to go beyond the first round in South Africa four years later. Their successors Spain failed to cross the preliminary hurdle in Brazil 2014 too. Only 2002 winners Brazil escaped the jinx.