In Jens Lehmann biography, we will explore his journey from a young keeper in Essen to a world-class stopper for Schalke 04, A.C. Milan, Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal, and VfB Stuttgart, as well as the German national team.
Jens Lehmann is one of the most successful and controversial goalkeepers of his generation. He played for some of the biggest clubs in Europe, as well as the German national team, and won several trophies and accolades. He also had his share of drama and controversy, both on and off the pitch.
In this biography, we will explore his life and career, from his humble beginnings in Essen to his glory days in London, from his bitter rivalry with Oliver Kahn to his redemptive return to Arsenal.
Jens Lehmann information
In this part of Jens Lehmann biography, we will have a glance at the player’s general information.
Born on November 10, 1969, Jens Lehmann real name is Jens Gerhard Lehmann.
- Full Name: Jens Gerhard Lehmann
- Nickname: Mad Jens
- Profession: retired Football Player
- Weight: 87 Kilograms
- Height: 1.93 m
- Eye Color: light brown
- Hair Color: blue
Date of Birth and Personal Info
- Date of Birth: November 10, 1969
- Birth Place: Essen, Germany
- Nationality: German
- Position: goalkeeper
- Jersey Number: 1
- Professional Debut: 1988
Jens Lehmann early life
In this part of Jens Lehmann biography, we look at the player’s early life.
Jens Lehmann was born on November 10, 1969, in Essen, West Germany, a city known for its industrial heritage and football culture. He grew up with his older brother in a middle-class family that supported him in his passion for the sport. He started playing football at the age of four and joined DJK Heisingen, a local club when he was seven. Lehmann played as a center-forward at first but soon switched to the goalkeeper position, inspired by his idol Sepp Maier.
He showed great talent and potential as a young keeper and attracted the attention of scouts from professional clubs. Lehmann joined Schwarz-Weiß Essen, a traditional club with a strong youth academy, in 1978, where he played alongside future stars like Oliver Bierhoff. The former goalkeeper helped the club reach the German vice-championship with the B-youth squad and made his debut for the senior team in the third division at the age of 17.
He caught the eye of FC Schalke 04, one of the biggest clubs in Germany, and signed a contract with them in 1987. He moved to Gelsenkirchen, where he started his professional career in the second division. Lehmann also continued his education, graduating from secondary school with A-levels (Abitur) in 1988, and enrolling in the University of Münster to study economics between 1992 and 1998.
Jens Lehmann profile
Jens Lehmann is a former German goalkeeper who played for Schalke 04, A.C. Milan, Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal, and VfB Stuttgart, and the German national team. He was part of Arsenal’s “Invincibles”, and holds the record for the most consecutive clean sheets in the Champions League. The German legend also won the UEFA Cup, the FA Cup, and the Bundesliga. He is one of the most successful and controversial goalkeepers of his generation.
Jens Lehmann football career
In this part of Jens Lehmann biography, we dive deep into the professional life of the German star.
Lehmann joined Schalke 04 in 1987, after playing for Schwarz-Weiß Essen, and made his debut in the second division. He helped the club gain promotion to the Bundesliga in 1991 and became their first-choice goalkeeper.
The 53-year-old had some ups and downs in his early years at Schalke, such as conceding three goals in 45 minutes against Bayer Leverkusen in 1993 and fleeing the stadium by tram. He also scored his first league goal from the penalty spot in 1995, and his second one in a dramatic derby against Borussia Dortmund in 1997.
He reached the peak of his Schalke career in the 1996-97 season when he led the club to their first European trophy, the UEFA Cup. Lehmann played a key role in the final against Inter Milan, saving a penalty from Iván Zamorano in the shootout. He was voted UEFA Club Goalkeeper of the Year for his performances.
He left Schalke for A.C. Milan in 1998, after making 363 appearances and scoring two goals for the club. He also won the DFB-Pokal in 1998, and the Intertoto Cup in 1996. He is still regarded as one of the best and most loyal goalkeepers in Schalke’s history.
Milan and Borussia Dortmund
Continuing toward Lehmann life story, he joined Milan in 1998, after leaving Schalke 04, but he only played five games for the Italian giants. He struggled to adapt to the Serie A style and made several mistakes that cost him his place in the team. Lehmann conceded a hat-trick to Gabriel Batistuta, gave away a penalty against Udinese, and handled a back pass that led to a free-kick goal by Roberto Baggio. He left Milan in January 1999, after only six months, and returned to Germany.
Lehmann signed for Borussia Dortmund, where he replaced Stefan Klos as their first-choice goalkeeper. He quickly regained his form and confidence and became a key player for the club. He helped Dortmund win the Bundesliga title in 2002, their first since 1996, and reach the UEFA Cup final in the same year, where they lost to Feyenoord. Lehmann also broke the Bundesliga record for the most minutes without conceding a goal, keeping a clean sheet for 675 minutes in 2003. He played 178 games for Dortmund in four and a half seasons and earned the respect and admiration of the fans.
Lehmann joined Arsenal in 2003, after leaving Borussia Dortmund, and became their first-choice goalkeeper. He was part of Arsenal’s “Invincibles”, who won the Premier League title in 2004 without losing a single game. Lehmann also won the FA Cup in 2005, and the Community Shield in 2004.
He played 147 games for Arsenal in five seasons, and set a UEFA Champions League record for the most consecutive clean sheets, keeping 10 in a row in the 2005-06 season. He also reached the Champions League final in 2006 but was sent off in the 18th minute for fouling Samuel Eto’o. Arsenal lost 2-1 to Barcelona.
He left Arsenal for VfB Stuttgart in 2008, where he played for two more seasons. Lehmann helped Stuttgart finish third in the Bundesliga in 2009, and qualify for the Champions League. He also played eight games in the UEFA Cup, reaching the round of 16. He played 65 games for Stuttgart and retired at the end of the 2009-10 season.
However, he came out of retirement in 2011, when he signed a short-term contract with Arsenal to cover for their injured goalkeepers. He played one more game for Arsenal, against Blackpool, becoming the oldest player to play for Arsenal in the Premier League at 41 years and 233 days. He retired again at the end of the season.
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Here, we will take a look at Jens Lehmann stats at the international level.
Lehmann made his debut for Germany in 1998, in a friendly against Oman, but he had to wait until 2004 to become their first-choice goalkeeper after Oliver Kahn lost his form.
He played in the Euro 2004, where Germany were eliminated in the group stage, and in the 2005 Confederations Cup, where Germany finished third. The Arsenal hero also played in the 2006 World Cup, which Germany hosted, and reached the semi-finals, where they lost to Italy. The 53-year-old saved two penalties in the quarter-final shootout against Argentina and was named in the All-Star Team of the tournament.
Lehmann played in the Euro 2008, where Germany reached the final, but lost to Spain. He also played in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers, but he was dropped from the squad before the tournament, after making some errors. He retired from international football in 2008, with 61 caps.
Jens Lehmann’s playing style
In this part of Jens Lehmann biography, we tend to the German star’s style of play.
Jens Lehmann’s style of play was a combination of talent, passion, and character, which made him one of the best and most controversial goalkeepers of his generation. He was a strong and agile keeper, who had excellent reflexes, positioning, and handling. He was also a leader and a communicator, who organized his defense and inspired his teammates.
Lehmann was known for his ability to intercept crosses and play as a sweeper-keeper, often leaving his line to clear the ball or start an attack. He was also confident with the ball at his feet and could take penalties or free kicks. He scored two goals in his career, both for Schalke 04, one of them in a derby against Borussia Dortmund.
Lehmann was also a competitive and outspoken keeper, who did not shy away from confrontation or controversy. He had a fierce rivalry with Oliver Kahn, both at club and international level, and often clashed with opponents, referees, or even teammates. He was sent off 10 times in his career, including in the 2006 Champions League final against Barcelona.
Jens Lehmann honors and achievements
In this part of Jens Lehmann biography, we will have a glance at the player’s achievements.
Lehmann won the UEFA Cup with Schalke 04 in 1997, saving a penalty in the shootout against Inter Milan. He also won the DFB-Pokal in 1998, and the Intertoto Cup in 1996 with Schalke. He was voted UEFA Club Goalkeeper of the Year for the 1996-97 season.
Lehmann won the Bundesliga title with Borussia Dortmund in 2002, their first since 1996. He also reached the UEFA Cup final in the same year but lost to Feyenoord. He broke the Bundesliga record for the most minutes without conceding a goal, keeping a clean sheet for 675 minutes in 2003.
The German won the Premier League title with Arsenal in 2004, as part of the “Invincibles” who went unbeaten throughout the season. Lehmann also won the FA Cup in 2005, and the Community Shield in 2004 with Arsenal. He set a UEFA Champions League record for the most consecutive clean sheets, keeping 10 in a row in the 2005-06 season. He also reached the Champions League final in 2006 but was sent off in the first half against Barcelona. The former goalkeeper was voted UEFA Club Goalkeeper of the Year for the 2005-06 season.
Lehmann played for Germany for 10 years, earning 61 caps and no goals. He represented Germany in three World Cups (1998, 2002, and 2006) and one European Championship (2008). Lehmann was a runner-up in the World Cup in 2002 and the Euro in 2008. He was also a third-place finisher in the World Cup in 2006 and the Confederations Cup in 2005. He was named in the All-Star Team of the World Cup in 2006.
Jens Lehmann personal life
In this part of Jens Lehmann biography, we take a look at the 53-year-old’s personal life.
Jens Lehmann’s wife is Conny, a primary school teacher whom he married in 1999. Lehmann also adopted her son Lasse, who was born from a previous relationship with Knut Reinhardt, a former footballer. Lehmann and Conny have two more children, Mats and Lieselotta. They live in Munich, Germany.
Lehmann is an educated man, who graduated from secondary school with A-levels in 1988, and studied economics at the University of Münster between 1992 and 1998 while continuing his football career. He also speaks several languages, including German, English, Italian, and French.
Lehmann is also a charitable man, who supports various causes and organizations. The penalty specialist is an ambassador for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which uses sports to help disadvantaged children around the world. He is also involved in the Common Goal initiative, which encourages footballers to donate 1% of their salaries to social projects. He also supports UNICEF and SOS Children’s Villages.