Oliver Kahn launches reality TV show in China

German Football
By German Football June 20, 2009 18:54

Oliver Kahn launches reality TV show in China

In sporting terms, there are few people better qualified to front a reality show intended to find a country’s best young goalkeeper. Former Germany and Bayern Munich No. 1 and all-round legend-between-the-sticks Oliver Kahn went everywhere and won just about everything in a career which established him as one of soccer’s best-ever stoppers.

Which is why Olli the Titan was chosen as the face of “I Never Give Up,” his own reality show in China, which aired for the first time on Thursday, June 18.

The Chinese producers of the show are hoping that the three-time winner of the World’s Best Goalkeeper Award and the Best Player at the 2002 World Cup will bring his star quality to the soccer talent show which hopes to find China’s best goalkeeper and make that person’s dream of being a professional soccer player a reality.

The contestants, aged 17-24, including two women, will compete for the prize of a spot in the German Football Association’s elite training academy.

China is a country of football lovers — a passion often dashed by the poor performance of the men’s national team that ranks 98th in the FIFA rankings, behind the Cape Verde Islands and Iceland.

Kahn, who retired from Bayern Munich last year, plans to show young Asians the power of motivation and how they can make their dreams come true.

And unlike Donald Trump in The Apprentice, he promises to be nice.

“We don’t want to do an empty and meaningless, mindless casting show. And I don’t want to be the one who ‘talks big’ and disses or offends the young candidates when they don’t succeed.

Kahn has designed his show to reflect the “importance of individuality and personality but most of all, how the contestants handle defeat”.

Kahn knows the pain of being beaten.

He was voted the best player at the 2002 World Cup, a feat never achieved by a goalkeeper before but in the final, he made a serious mistake, spilling a shot to Brazilian player Ronaldo, who pounced on it and won the game.

“Finally, I have become much stronger from this defeat,” he says.

“The crises in my life have always been a danger, of course, because there is always the potential that you’ll be destroyed. But on the other hand, crises always include an opportunity to learn, to adjust and to re-emerge much stronger.”

Kahn says Chinese viewers will see how his principles can be adapted to everyday life and how they can be a “roadmap to success”.

German Football
By German Football June 20, 2009 18:54
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