Khan is excited to play before Kolkata soccer fans

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{image-oliver khan_20032008.jpg www.oneindia.com}Kolkata, Mar 20: Legendary German keeper Oliver Kahn is excited about his farewell match in Kolkata and admitted it will be the first time that he played before a crowd of 1.25 lakh.

''I have been to many places such as Japan and Korea, but I'm excited at the prospect of getting to know India as I've heard they are really passionate about football,'' Khan said in a pre-recorded interview about the match shown here today by Bayern Munich's Head of International Affairs Martin Haegele.Asked if he had played before a crowd of 1.25 lakh, he said, ''I will have to think about that. I have played before one lakh people, but 1.25 lakh will be a first time.

'' On whether he ever imagined of getting his farewell match in India, Khan smiled and said, ''Definitely not. I was already mentally prepared for Berlin as my last match.'' ''Then there is my farewell match in September. Obviously I'm intrigued at playing at such a fabulous setting in front of such a large crowd,'' Kahn added.

The DFB has announced that along with Bayern Munich they will jointly host the testimonial for keeper Kahn at the Allianz Arena on September 2.

Asked if he was seen to be seeking out the best keeper in India, he said, ''Why not. India has a huge population like China, but it is yet to be explored.'' Kahn is retiring at the end of the season after 14 years at Bayern, during which time he also won 86 caps for the German national team.

Speaking about the Asia tour in general, Kahn said, ''Certainly we will be missing a few players, but we will certainly be putting up a very good team.'' ''We will be there in Asia to enjoy ourselves. So I think it will be a great farewell tour,'' he signed off.

UNI

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