Kaiser: Lehmann Should Quit as Germany Goalie after Euro 2008 | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 09.06.2008
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Kaiser: Lehmann Should Quit as Germany Goalie after Euro 2008

Franz Beckenbauer called for Jens Lehmann to cede his position as Germany goalkeeper in order to give younger players a chance.

Jens Lehmann

Lehmann has made no statement about his international future after Euro 2008

Goalkeeper Jens Lehmann should step aside from national team duties after Euro 2008 to allow the nation's future goal stoppers a chance at wearing the German No. 1 jersey, Franz "Der Kaiser" Beckenbauer said.

German soccer monarch Beckenbauer hailed this year's Euro the perfect opportunity for Lehmann, 38, to cede his position in between the German goals to one of the country's up-and-coming prospects.

"Such a tournament is always an opportunity to quit and to allow a new era to start," said Beckenbauer. "I would tell Jens to retire after Euro to give younger men a chance to play.

Talented keepers in Lehmann's shadow

Rene Adler

Rene Adler is definitely one for the future

Lehmann has been Germany's first choice goalie since 2006, when he assumed the mantle from Oliver Kahn. He has not yet spoken about his national team future after this year's Euro.

Standing in Lehmann's shadow are Hanover's Robert Enke, 30, and Bayer Leverkusen's Rene Adler, 23, who are both members of Germany's current Euro squad.

Soccer analysts have touted Adler as the most promising German keeper in the Bundesliga and a likely heir to the latter's throne.

Adler finished fifth in Bundesliga 2007-08 player of the year awards behind Luca Toni and Franck Ribery of Bayern Munich, Werder Bremen playmaker Diego and VfB Stuttgart's Mario Gomez.

Meanwhile, Enke, who made his Bundesliga debut 10 years ago with Borussia Moenchengladbach, has been made to wait considerably longer for his chance to guard Germany's goals.

With more experience than his younger rival, Enke stakes his own credible claim to follow on from Lehmann, whom Beckenbauer doubted would "still be ambitious to play in goal (at the World Cup) in 2010."

Lehmann has recently signed a one-year deal for next season with Stuttgart after plying his trade with England's Arsenal for the last five years.