MUNICH – Former goalkeeper Oliver Kahn promised Tuesday that he will tone down his notorious temper in his new boardroom role at Bayern Munich.
Kahn was known as a hothead in his 14 years as Bayern No. 1, but at a news conference on Tuesday he said there would be “no slide tackles in the meeting room.”
“Emotionality was important for me as a player, but in business it is not necessarily so helpful,” Kahn said with a grin.
The 50-year-old officially joined the Bundesliga champions’ board last week, and will succeed Karl-Heinz Rummenigge as Bayern CEO in January 2022.
In the meantime, he will work closely alongside both Rummenigge and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic in a two-year “acclimatization period.”
At his official presentation on Tuesday, Kahn promised to be “100 percent Bayern Munich from this day forth.”
The club legend will be charged with building a new era at Bayern, following the departure of Rummenigge and long-term club patriarch Uli Hoeness, who stepped down as president last year.
Kahn said he was aware of the high expectations at Bayern, adding that the challenge “suits my character.”
“A great Bayern coach once said that if you sign a contract here, you have to know what you are letting yourself in for,” he said.
“At Bayern, it is about being the No. 1 in every area. We want to give the fans excellent football, and for that we need to create the economic conditions.”
Kahn added that reinvigorating Bayern’s youth system would be “one of the most important topics” of his tenure.
New president Herbert Hainer said that Kahn had been hired for his “football expertise, business expertise and Bayern DNA.”
The legendary goalkeeper won the Champions League, the UEFA Cup and eight Bundesliga titles with Bayern before his retirement in 2008.
He was Bayern’s hero in the 2001 Champions League triumph, saving three penalties in the final shootout with Valencia.
Aside from his goalkeeping prowess, Kahn was also known for his on-field aggression, which earned him the nickname “Volcano.”
Since retirement, he has worked as a pundit for German broadcaster ZDF and earned a master’s degree in business management.