German World Cup-winning player and coach Franz Beckenbauer on Friday insisted veteran keeper Jens Lehmann was in top form, notwithstanding a couple of errors in his team's run to the Euro 2008 final.
“Lehmann is on very good form right now. If Germany do not end up as champions it certainly won't be down to the keeper,” Beckenbauer told AFP, with 38-year-old Lehmann having come in for some recent criticism.
Although Lehmann, who will play for Stuttgart after his move from Arsenal, played well enough in the 3-2 quarter-final win over Portugal he let in two more goals against Turkey in the semi which he might have stopped on another day.
“Regarding those two goals he was left without cover by his defenders,” said Beckenbauer, who said that Germany's inconsistency through the event – they lost in the group to Croatia – was “inexplicable.”
One good showing has been followed by another rather shambolic one and Beckenbauer joked that “at this rhythm they should be good on Sunday,” when the three-times champions meet a Spain team which has been consistently strong throughout.
“It's 50-50,” was Beckenbauer's forecast for the showdown.
The Germans have conceded six goals in their five matches and Beckenbauer said before the event began the selection of Lehmann, who was no longer in the Arsenal team, was “dangerous.”
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