We all know him as one of the best goalkeepers in the history of football, who holds the record for most consecutive clean sheets in the history of Champions league. In this article, we take a look at Jens Lehmann biography.
Jens Lehmann, born on 10 November 1969 in Essen, West Germany, is a retired German international footballer who played as a goalkeeper between 1989 and 2011.
Jens Lehmann started his professional career in 1989 with FC Schalke 04 in the 2nd Bundesliga and was promoted to the 1stBundesliga
with the team in 1991. A year after winning the UEFA Cup in 1997, he left Schalke 04 and moved to Italy to join AC Milan. There he lost his regular spot after a short time and therefore decided to move to Borussia Dortmund during the following winter transfer window.
With Dortmund, he won the German league title in 2002 before making a second move abroad in 2003, this time toArsenal FC
, with whom he won theEnglish Premier League
in his first season as a member of the team known as the Invincibles. His performances in his first three years in England also saw him become a regular goalkeeper for the German national team in the run-up to the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
He also played in the German goal at the 2008 European Championships in Austria and Switzerland. After his contract in London expired in the summer of 2008, Lehmann moved toVfB Stuttgart
, where he remained until the end of the 2009/10 season. Although he had actually ended his active career in 2010, Lehmann returned to Arsenal FC in March 2011 until the end of the season.
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Probably his most remarkable match was with Arsenal on 17 May 2006; the 2-1 Champions League final versus FC Barcelona. Lehmann was shown the red card in the 18th minute by Norwegian referee Terje Hauge after a foul on Samuel Eto'o, making him the first-ever footballer to be shown the red card in a Champions League final.
We are going to share some general information about him such as
Jens Lehmann nationality
to let you get more familiar with one of the greatest German goalkeepers ever.
Jens Lehmann Bio
Full Name: Jens Gerhard Lehmann
Nickname: Mad Jens
Profession: Professional Footballer
Jens Lehmann Physical Stats
Weight: 87 Kg
Height: 1.90 m
Eye Color: Blue
Hair Color: Dark Blonde
Jens Lehmann Football Information
Jersey Number: 1
Professional Debut: 1987
Jens Lehmann Date of Birth and Personal Info
Date of Birth: 10 November 1969
Birth Place: Essen, West Germany
Zodiac Sign: Scorpio
Stay tuned as we want to take a deeper look into
Jens Lehmann childhood
in this section of
Jens Lehmann biography
Jens Lehmann started playing football when he was four years old and became a club member of DJK Heisingen at the age of seven. During this period, however, he was not playing as a goalkeeper, rather as a centre-forward. Between 1978 and 1987, he played for Schwarz-Weiß Essen together with Oliver Bierhoff, among others, but by then he was already playing exclusively as a goalkeeper. He won the German vice-championship with the B-youth team.
With the successes of the Essen club with its long tradition, Lehmann came to the attention of scouts of professional clubs. Although he had only played once in a regional team, he signed a contract with FC Schalke 04 at the age of 17. After a year in their youth team, he was promoted to the professional squad of the team that had just been relegated from the Bundesliga.
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For some time in the 1988/89 season, Lehmann was the regular goalkeeper whenSchalke
was in increasing danger of relegation in the second Bundesliga as well. But because he made a few mistakes and was also aiming for his high school diploma at the same time, he had to return to the bench for the time being. In total, the 19-year-old made 13 appearances in his first professional season and Schalke narrowly escaped relegation to the amateur league. In his second season at Schalke, Lehmann finally rose to become a regular goalkeeper. In his third year, Schalke managed to return to the Bundesliga after Lehmann had conceded only 25 goals in 34 games this season.
Lehmann also remained the number one goalkeeper for Schalke in the next Bundesliga season in 1991/92. In his first Bundesliga campaign, he played in 37 of the 38 games. After the team battled for a place in the UEFA Cup in the meantime, in the end, they finished in 11th place.
1992/93 saw the first major setback in Jens Lehmann's upwardly rising career. When he tore his inner ligament, cruciate ligament and meniscus with a ruptured capsule on the eighth matchday, his career was in jeopardy.
It was not until the sixth matchday of the 1993/94 season that he returned to the Schalke goal, but neither he nor the Schalke team was able to match the form of previous years. There was a clash on matchday 12 when Lehmann had already allowed three goals againstLeverkusen
after 27 minutes and the Schalke supporters demanded his substitution. In fact, the new Schalke coach Jörg Berger substituted him at half-time and replaced him with Holger Gehrke, who conceded two more goals.
Lehmann himself did not get to see the end of the game, as he had already left for home. It was not until the 21st matchday that he regained his regular place (Schalke was still in a relegation place in the meantime), but in the following weeks he was the guardian of the team's rescue to a non-relegation place at the end of the season.
From the 1994/95 season onwards, Lehmann was the undisputed regular goalkeeper, and he missed only two Bundesliga matches in the next four years. Things were also improving for Schalke. Schalke managed to stay safely out of the relegation zone and in the following years the team became known for the excellent defensive department around Jens Lehmann, which conceded the fewest goals in the Bundesliga in the 1995/96 season with 36 goals and finished in third place, the best position in almost 20 years.
Then in 1996/97, in Lehmann's first season in UEFA European Cup competitions, Schalke achieved the greatest success in the club's history to date by winning the UEFA Cup. After winning the first leg 1-0 in Gelsenkirchen, Zamorano did not score the 1-0 for Inter until the 85th minute in the second leg. Extra time remained goalless, so the decision was made in a penalty shoot-out. Anderbrügge, Thon and Max converted for Schalke, Lehmann stopped Zamorano's first penalty, Djorkaeff converted and Winter missed. With the fourth penalty, Wilmots scored the decisive goal for FC Schalke 04.
In the Bundesliga, Schalke was less successful, as their low goal tally was not enough to finish higher than 12th. As defending champions, however, the team took part in the UEFA Cup the next season and managed to advance to the quarter-finals, where they lost to the eventual winnersInter Milan
. In the Bundesliga, Schalke conceded only 32 goals in 34 league games and again qualified for international competition, finishing 5th. In the process, Lehmann became the first goalkeeper in Bundesliga history to score a field goal on matchday 20 (19 December 1997) against Borussia Dortmund.
This was already his second Bundesliga goal: On 12 March 1995, in FC Schalke 04's 6-2 win over TSV 1860 München, Lehmann scored the 6:1 on a penalty kick. Jens Lehmann, Andreas Köpke and Hans Jörg Butt are so far the only goalkeepers to have scored more than one goal in the Bundesliga.
Stay tuned as we want to take a deeper look into his career at AC Milan in this section of Jens Lehmann biography.
In July 1998, he signed for the most popular destination for German players at the time: Italy, and more preciselyAC Milan
. At the age of 28, Lehmann decided to take on a new challenge and signed a 3-year contract.
He was quickly criticized by the critics and was benched in favour of Sebastiano Rossi. In October 1998, Lehmann was given another chance to prove his worth, but after only 27 minutes and a penalty conceded, he was replaced by Rossi for good. At the end of the month, there were strong whispers that Lehmann was about to leave the club and move toBorussia Dortmund
. On 24 December 1998, he was transferred there for 7 million marks.
Lehmann himself commented on his premature exit from Milan: "I can't stand it any longer. I'm not ready to live to replace Rossi."
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On his return to Germany, Dortmund was 5th in the table. Lehmann arrived as the successor of Stefan Klos. As a long-time player of Schalke 04, Lehmann was well received by some of the fans. For the second half of the season, he participated in the qualification for the Champions League. Lehmann impressed everyone in four matches he played. However, in a match against Hansa Rostock, a 90th-minute foul on the opposing captain Timo Lange resulted in the first dismissal of his Bundesliga career.
After a three-game suspension, he returned to the team and was booed during the 90 minutes of the match against his training club FC Schalke 04, his former fans even called him a traitor. In the last four days of the season, Lehmann conceded four goals and Dortmund reached the 4th place in the Champions League qualifying round.
The following season (1999-2000), Lehmann's aggressive appearance created a sensation on the pitch. His duel with Oliver Kahn for the starting place in the national team attracted media attention. In the first 17 matches he played, Lehmann conceded only 13 goals. In contrast, the second half of the season was extremely bad for Lehmann, who not only slipped into the middle of the table with Dortmund but also received another red card on the 24th matchday for a rough tackle. In the previous weeks, he had already made some mistakes in the BVB goal. Without him, Dortmund lost three matches, but the club finished 11th.
The 2000-2001 season went without any incidents for Lehmann. Only his high number of yellow cards was a problem. Overall, he conceded 40 goals in his 31 matches that season against and took 3rd place, opening the door to Europe.
Lemann was able to lead Borussia Dortmund to victory in the German league and the UEFA Cup final in 2002. In the 2002/03 season, Bayern took the Bundesliga title with Lehmann and Borussia Dortmund finished third. Lehmann only played 24 league games but in the UEFA Champions League, he helped Borussia Dortmund progress to the knockout round.
In his first season in London (2003/04), Lehmann played in all 38 games of the season and became a formidable player for Arsenal, who went the season without defeat and won the English league by eleven points. Lehmann only conceded 26 goals in the entire season. After helping the Londoners reach the Champions League round of 16, he was criticised in the quarter-finals against local rivalsChelsea FC
when he made a serious mistake in the second leg and his team was eliminated.
The 2004/05 season was a mixed bag for Lehmann, who was again criticised for two errors in theChampions League
group stage match againstPanathinaikos
and, after a drop in form in the winter, temporarily lost his regular position to Manuel Almunia. At times there was even talk of Lehmann leaving London, but on matchday 26, after a ten-game break, he returned to Arsenal's goal because Almunia's previous season's performance was not repeated and Arsenal slipped down to third place in the table. In the last 13 games of the season, Lehmann conceded only seven goals and played a decisive role in Arsenal's runners-up finish in England. Lehmann also excelled in the FA Cup, making a flawless save againstManchester United
in regular time and saving the decisive shot in the penalty shoot-out.
Lehmann played in every game of the 2005/06 season, conceding a total of 31 goals in those 38 league games. On the last matchday of the season, the team managed to climb to fourth place in the table and thus participate in the qualification for the Champions League 2006/07. In the Champions League, Lehmann developed into the team's leading player and did not concede a single goal in his eight appearances during the season.
He was the team's key player in the matches againstReal Madrid
in the round of 16 and in the semi-final against Villarreal when Lehmann saved Juan Román Riquelme's penalty in the 90th minute in the second leg, which was decisive for the team's progress. In the final againstFC Barcelona
, Lehmann was shown a red card in the 19th minute when he tried to prevent Samuel Eto'o, who was running alone towards him, from conceding a goal outside the penalty area.
Although his team subsequently managed to take the lead when they were shorthanded, they conceded two more goals in the closing stages to lose 2-1. Jens Lehmann also went 852 minutes without conceding a goal in the Champions League, more than any other goalkeeper before him. He thus replaced Edwin van der Sar as the record holder. In August 2006, Jens Lehmann was named "Best Goalkeeper" in the UEFA Champions League for the 2005/06 season.
On April 2006, Lehmann signed a one-year contract with Arsenal, which he extended for another year in April 2007. In each of the first two games of the 2007/08 Premier League season, Lehmann made a bad mistake. When he sustained a capsule strain in his ankle, the Spaniard Manuel Almunia moved into the line-up. Almunia played flawless games and won his regular place, which he kept after Lehmann's recovery despite a few mistakes.
Since Lehmann has not been used as Arsenal's regular goalkeeper since then, a change of goalkeeper at the winter break was not ruled out. However, after lengthy consideration, Lehmann turned down a return to Borussia Dortmund. On 4 May 2008, it was announced that Lehmann would definitely leave Arsenal FC after the end of the season. In the last home game of the season against Everton FC, he was substituted shortly before the end to allow him to say goodbye to the club's supporters.
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On 3 June 2008, he signed at VfB Stuttgart for one year, with an option for one more year. Despite a good performance at the start of the 2008-2009 season, the club dropped to 11th place in the Bundesliga and coach Armin Veh was sacked. The new boss of the team from November 2008, Markus Babbel, took the club up to the 3rd place qualifying for the Champions League. Jens Lehmann played every minute of the league.
Jens Lehmann played his last international match against FC Barcelona in the Champions League on 17 March 2010, losing 4-0.
On 8 May 2010, in the last match against Hoffenheim and after a 1-1 draw, Jens Lehmann announced the end of his career.
In March 2011, Lehmann, then 41, returned to Arsenal FC as a back-up goalkeeper, as only one fit goalkeeper, Manuel Almunia, was available. Lehmann signed a contract until the end of the season on 30 June 2011. He made his comeback first on 29 March 2011 in the second team (2-1 defeat to Wigan Athletic reserves) and finally made his only appearance of the season on 10 April 2011 in the Premier League (3-1 away win against Blackpool FC) after Almunia injured himself during the warm-up.
Stay tuned as we want to take a deeper look into his career at German national team in this section of
Jens Lehmann biography
A German international from 1998, Lehmann remained for many years under the shadow of Oliver Kahn, considered at the time to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world. Nevertheless, his success at Arsenal and Kahn's poor form during the 2005-2006 season led him to claim a starting place in the national team. After a few mistakes and failing to win his place in the hearts of the fans, just like in the German national team, he affirmed his rivalry with Oliver Kahn. The tension between the two players is such that Jürgen Klinsmann for a while avoided calling them into the national team at the same time.
Lehmann was nevertheless preferred to Kahn by Klinsmann for the 2006 World Cup, where he distinguished himself in the quarter-final against Argentina by stopping two penalties in the penalty shoot-out. He gave up his place to Kahn for the third-place playoff against Portugal. Kahn then played his last match for the National team, while Lehmann continued as the number one in Joachim Löw's team until the Euro 2008.
His status as a substitute at Arsenal at that time made him worried about his selection for Euro 2008. Lehmann was nevertheless kept in the squad and played all the matches until the final lost against Spain (0-1). He retired from the international scene at the age of 38 at the end of the tournament, as he had previously indicated.
Performing with VfB Stuttgart, he announced at the beginning of 2009 his intention to return to the national team without ever being called up.
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Lehmann acquired his football coaching licence in October 2013. During the 2017/18 Premier League season, the former international goalkeeper was part of Arsène Wenger's coaching team at his former club FC Arsenal.
From the end of January 2019, Lehmann was part of the coaching team at Bundesliga club FC Augsburg as Manuel Baum's assistant coach. He was released together with Baum as early as 9 April 2019, when the team was 15th in the table after Matchday 28, four points clear of the relegation place.
Stay tuned as we want to take a deeper look into his playing style in this section of Jens Lehmann biography.
A well-rounded goalkeeper, he was also widely respected in the media for his ball distribution with both of his feet, and also his handling, physical presence, reading the game, positioning, and his willingness to get off his line and catch or punch crosses, which helped him to effectively protect his zone.
He was often renowned for his egotistic attitude, and for being highly straightforward. He also wielded a great mind, tactical sense, and leadership, and also was widely acknowledged for his ability to manage pressure and interact with his back-line.
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Deemed to be among the greatest goalies in the world in his peak, and also one of the best goalkeepers in the history of the English Premier League, and one of the biggest goalies in Arsenal and Germany, Lehmann was a brilliant and accomplished goalkeeper, famous for his flexibility, power, and acrobatic skills; nevertheless, he was often recognized for his reliability rather than his style of play
In a German-South African film project called Themba, Lehmann played the role of a football coach, named Big John Jacobs, who discovers Themba, an aspiring young footballer who has to deal with poverty, AIDS and violence, but eventually makes it into the South African national football team. The film was based on a novel by Lutz van Kijk and was screened at the Berlin Film Festival in February 2010.
In this section of
Jens Lehmann biography
, we will take a look at his personal life and share some information such as
Jens Lehmann life story
Jens Lehmann religion
Jens Lehmann has been married to Conny, a primary school teacher, since 1999. She brought her son Lasse, who came from a relationship with Knut Reinhardt, into the marriage and whom Lehmann later adopted. Their son was born in July 2000 and their daughter in March 2006.
Both Jens Lehmann and his older brother grew up in the Heisingen district of Essen. He graduated from high school in 1988 and studied economics at the University of Münster for several semesters from 1992 to 1998, in addition to his work as a professional footballer.
Jens Lehmann's cousin, Jochen Rotthaus, also from Essen-Heisingen, is now Director of Marketing/Communications at Bayer 04 Leverkusen.
Lehmann is involved as an ambassador and board member for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation to help disadvantaged children and young people. He also supports the Youth Football Foundation, which was founded in 2000 on Jürgen Klinsmann's initiative, among others, and is a member of its board of trustees. Furthermore, he is a supporter of the Trautmann Foundation and is involved with the Willow Foundation of former Scottish Arsenal goalkeeper Bob Wilson as well as the English anti-racism initiative Kick it Out.
In addition, Jens Lehmann has been a member of the board of trustees of the German Children's Cancer Care - Foundation for the Chronically Ill Child from Villingen-Schwenningen in the Black Forest since 2010. This foundation has been committed to children suffering from cancer, heart disease and cystic fibrosis and their families for more than 20 years.
Lehmann was sentenced on 9 November 2016 at Starnberg Local Court for aiding and abetting a hit-and-run offence to a fine of 50 daily fines of €850 each (€42,500). Previously, proceedings had been dropped against the former goalkeeper for coercion and attempted bodily harm.
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In this section of Jens Lehmann biography, we will take a brief look at his career stats on international and club level.
Jens Lehman has played a total of 787 matches in all competitions and it what could be deemed as odd for a goalkeeper has scored two goals. He has played the most of his career games for Schalke 04 as it stands at 312 matches for them between 1988 and 1998.
Despite Lehmann, almost all of the times were behind Oliver Kahn in the German national team, but between 1998 and 2008, Jens Lehmann managed to play 61 matches for his country.
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As one of the most decorated German goalkeepers, he has won many awards and titles such as UEFA Cup, Serie A, Bundesliga, English Premier League, FA Cup, FA Community Shield and some others.
On the international level, he was runner-ups in the 2008 UEFA European Championship and 2002 FIFA World Cup and third-placed in 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2006 World Cup.
He has also won some individual awards and titles in his career such as kicker Bundesliga Team of the Season, UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year, UEFA Club Football Awards Best Goalkeeper and FIFA World Cup All-Star Team.