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Ziege's high and low

Posted on 31 July 2002  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Christian Ziege returned to Spurs Lodge and reflected on a World Cup that provided an 'amazing' experience, but also his biggest disappointment.

Christian was a regular feature down the German left flank in the early games of the tournament, missing only one game due to suspension up to the quarter-final stage.

After the quarter-final win over the USA, manager Rudi Voller elected to shuffle his pack slightly and Christian found himself on the bench as the Germans overcame co-hosts South Korea to reach the final - much to the surprise of the German media corps who predicted a short stay in the Far East.

"With a bit of time passed since the World Cup, and having been on holiday, you think about a lot of things.

"It was amazing, we had a fantastic World Cup and it was a lot of fun and to go through to the final is a big thing.

"Until after the quarter-final we were getting a lot of stick from the press in Germany - they never expected us to get past the first stage! Before the quarter-final they were still giving us stick but we were getting stronger and stronger and went to the final.

"Then they turned around a little bit.

"You should have seen the people in Germany though, the reception when we came back was amazing."

The elegant wing-back played a small part in the final as a substitute, but his omission from the side in the first place was still a devastating blow.

"It was definitely one of the most disappointing moments in my career. If you play the quarter-final and go, through then to have to stay out of the semi-final against South Korea in front of 80,000 people is really disappointing.

"Even in the final I just came on, but there were a lot of players who didn't get to play. In our team there was a player who didn't play one minute - so he went eight weeks without playing.

"That's football though.

"I came on in the final, had a chance and maybe I should have put that one in the goal, but it is not my thing to come on in a game. I like to start, but I think everybody likes to start.

"It was hard for him (Voller) to explain it. I talked to him after the World Cup again, but he thought he just had to change something and I was unlucky."

By Richard Hubbard