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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 12 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Aug 17, 2006

Lehmann blames boots for injury problems

Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has revealed he played through 'massive pain' at the World Cup and has still not fully recovered going into the new Premiership season.

Lehmann has been speaking amid an argument between the Germany players and their federation over free choice of football boots, with the DFB having ordered their players to wear only those manufactured by principal sponsor Adidas.

A players' initiative, spearheaded by Lehmann, has successfully defeated the policy, with DFB president Theo Zwanziger set to overturn the rule and allow players to wear their own boots for the first Euro 2008 qualifier against the Republic of Ireland next month.

Lehmann insisted it was an issue about 'health rather than finance', adding he will never again play with kit other than his own after the problems he experienced at the World Cup.

'After one week of practice (with the national team back in May) I had physical problems and played the full World Cup with them,' Lehmann told PA Sport following Wednesday night's 3-0 win over Sweden, their first game under newly-appointed coach Joachim Low.

'I still have problems right now.

'At the end of the day nobody can tell you what it is but the only thing that was different from my club were the boots and that is not acceptable at all.

'I don't have to reveal my problems but I have had massive problems during the World Cup. It is getting better right now but never again will I agree to play in a different product than I do at Arsenal.'

Lehmann also revealed Arsenal had reacted angrily to the situation.

'The club also says if you return with problems from the national team and the only difference is the shoes then we have to reconsider whether you can still go there,' he said.

'Arsenal are interested in having their players return healthy from the World Cup. If you have to play with different boots during the World Cup - or again next month in the qualifier - and then have problems, that is not acceptable at all.'