Jens Lehmann has described how he cut out any distractions from his wife and children ahead of the 2006 World Cup quarter-final.
Eleven years ago, Lehmann’s Germany side made it to the last-eight of the competition in Berlin, and faced Argentina for a place in the semi-finals. But the night before, he made sure there wasn’t anything distracting him from such an important game, even his wife and children!
Lehmann explained in his book: “Upstairs, I phoned my wife, but whenever she cut into a topic with which I could not be bothered – the children’s upbringing, for example – I told her now was not the time and that the match the next day was more important,” reports the Telegraph.
“When she still would not let up, I played my best argument: ‘You’ll have to shelve this; I need to go to sleep now – for Germany.’ That, finally, made an impact.”
Clearly the tactic of refusing to pay any attention to his children’s upbringing for one day, at least, worked out for Jens, as his performance the following day ended up being pivotal.
He couldn’t prevent Argentina taking the lead early in the second half, but after Germany equalised and a tense goalless period of extra time followed, Lehmann shone in the penalty shootout.
The Arsenal keeper saved twice, first from Ayala, then Cambiasso, and the Germans won the shootout 4-2. Lehmann later revealed that he’d written a list of where all the Argentine penalty takers put their penalties and kept it his sock, just in case there was a shootout.
It worked a charm as he went the right way every single time. He even took it out of his sock right in front of Cambiasso before the final penalty, which must have been very distracting for the Argentine.
Distracting enough that Jens made the save, and won his country the match.