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Monday, June 30, 2008
Lehmann savages ref Rosetti's performance

Germany goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has slammed Italian referee Roberto Rosetti's Euro 2008 final performance, describing him as 'biased'.

Germany lost 1-0 in Vienna last night - and although Lehmann concedes Spain were worthy winners of the title, he was far from impressed by Rosetti.

'What was disappointing in my opinion was the performance of the referee, who didn't really fancy us Germans - and this is the third time I was unlucky with referees in European cup finals,' said the former Arsenal goalkeeper.

Two incidents in particular stood out for Lehmann.

The first was when Spain midfielder David Silva looked to head-butt Lukas Podolski but escaped without punishment, and then in the dying minutes when a promising Germany attack was stopped for what Lehmann felt was a non-existent foul.

Lehmann, who tried to speak to Rosetti after the final whistle, said: 'He was very arrogant and in my opinion he was biased.

'He clearly saw a head-butt from a Spanish player towards Lukas Podolski - he didn't book him or give him a red card.

'Just before the end, we had a good chance in the penalty area - and all of a sudden, he gave a foul against us where even the Spanish players were surprised to get a free-kick. It was very disappointing.'

The veteran goalkeeper had few complaints about the final result, though, admitting Spain were full value for their first European Championship success since 1964.

Luis Aragones' men went into the match, having been victorious in the previous 11 matches and unbeaten in 21, and they improved both those runs - and collected the Henri Delaunay trophy - thanks to Fernando Torres' first-half strike.

'The Spanish have deserved to win because they were the team, together with us, who over the last two to three years were the most consistent; they even won every game in this tournament, so they deserved to win,' said Lehmann, who refused to blame team-mate Philipp Lahm for Spain's goal.

Lahm was outmanoeuvred and outpaced by Torres for the 33rd-minute goal, but Lehmann said: 'I'm not the kind of person to blame other people. If I had waited a little bit longer or just had done something different he probably wouldn't have scored.

'I think when you lose 1-0, you always regret certain situations in the game and you are always saying 'if only I had done this, and done that'. That's a big disappointment as a player - particularly in my case because that was my last European Championship game. I can't reverse that; it's done.'

It may have been Lehmann's final European Championship match for his country, but the 38-year-old refused to reveal whether it was his final appearance in Germany colours.

'I haven't made my mind up yet,' he said.

'I will do that in a little while and then let my coaches know and my team-mates.




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