BERLIN (AFP) - Germany does not currently have a world-class goalkeeper worthy of helping the national team win next year's World Cup, insists both ex-captain Oliver Kahn and national goalkeeping coach Andreas Koepke.
"We have very good goalkeepers in the Bundesliga, but from my point of view we have no absolute world-class goalkeepers at present," Koepke told Sport Bild on Wednesday ahead of Saturday's World Cup qualifier against Liechtenstein.
And Kahn - who led Germany to the 2002 World Cup final defeat against Brazil - said the national team is lacking consistency from any of the current crop of 'keepers.
"This situation, which does not please me at all, is that all the current goalkeepers have all fallen into a rut and none of them have a high-level of consistency," said Kahn, who retired last May.
While Germany have been able to rely on the likes of Sepp Maier, Kahn and then Jens Lehmann in recent years, the current first-choice Rene Adler of Leverkusen is not assured of his place.
And none of his rivals, Hanover's Robert Enke, Werder Bremen's Tim Wiese or Schalke 04's Manuel Neuer, consistently produce high-class performances for their Bundesliga clubs.
Adler was in goal when Germany beat Russia and Wales last October to go top of their World Cup qualifier group.
But he was also between the posts when Germany were humbled in their last two friendlies at home to England and Norway, but his closest rival Enke has already conceded 52 goals in a struggling Hanover team.
For the next two World Cup qualifiers - againt Liechtenstein in Leipzig on Saturday and Wales in Cardiff on April 1 - Adler and Enke will fight for the Number One shirt.
But Kahn is not surprised neither player has merited selection through lack of consistent performances.
"It is a lot of pressure. When you are in that position, your performances are criticised more closely.
"Nevertheless, it is always the same situation.
"It is not only about who has the biggest talent, but who is the strongest mentally."
But Loew's assistant coach Hansi Flick poured cold water on the debate.
"We are convinced about our goalkeepers, they are all high-class and I am not so sure Kahn and Lehmann were always world-class."
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