Khedira has reflected on the ‘motivational’
pressure in the Champions League for Real Madrid, as well as his
backseat role in the team.
The midfielder is a regular for
Los Blancos, but has revealed in an interview published this week that
he is happy to not take the limelight at the Santiago
“I understand perfectly that the spotlight is for Cristiano
Ronaldo, Ozil and [Karim] Benzema,” commented Khedira to
UEFA’s official magazine released this week.
“It's normal –
they're the artists, they're the ones who do scissor kicks, nutmegs,
incredible dribbling. We have an incredible team with the best
attacking players in the world, but we need to win the ball first.
"My strengths? I am reliable,
strong and with a great desire to win. During my early years I looked
up to Patrick Vieira. He was very involved up front, very strong in
defence, ran a lot, was aggressive and had great
Even so, Khedira also recognises
that Jose Mourinho has played a part in the development of his
“When I arrived at Real Madrid I had a primarily defensive
role. I was there to defend, but with the national team I was always
more offensive and José Mourinho realised that.
“I was often too impetuous and he has taken that out of my
game. He told me to step back a little, play smarter, use my head
“I used to think I had
to slog my guts out to help the team the best I could. I play in a
subtler, calmer way now.
“He has made me a strategist. He is one of the best coaches
there is, and the best I've ever had. He sees the strengths in every
single player and always wants to get the best out of
This week sees Khedira and
teammate Ozil return to Germany and face Borussia Dortmund in the first
leg of the Champions League semi-finals.
“When I came to Madrid, everyone was talking about
‘La Decima’. Since I didn't speak any Spanish, I
didn't know what they were talking about.
“It took a while for me to understand, but at Madrid
‘La Decima’ is everything.
“Pressure? The Champions
League is not pressure, it's our goal. In the team there is a desire to
win the Champions League – our goalkeeper Iker Casillas is
the only player who has won any of the nine.
“Pressure is always there at Real Madrid, we are used to it.
I want to win trophies – that's been my ambition since the
beginning of my career – which is why pressure is not a
“It's probably more of a motivation than a burden.”
Espana / picture: Football Espana
Sami Khedira - Großes kicker Interview (german only)
Jahre Bundesliga - 2007 - Sami Khedira und die Deutsche Meisterschaft
mit dem VfB Stuttgart.
- Khedira: "My life
at Real Madrid is perfect"
Madrid has been a lucky break for me".
Sami Khedira is one of those
players who doesn't hide his good fortune, both making a living playing
football and playing at Real Madrid. He says as much on his website,
where the German comes out of his shell and shows his more personal
"My life at Real Madrid is perfect. I feel very much at home in Spain
and all I can say is that I’m the luckiest person in the
world since I joined this club," Khedira said on his site.
The German is enjoying some of his
best moments at the club. The fans are taking note of the hard work he
does for the team and he knows that he’s always had the
backing of his teammates and Mourinho, the man who's shown the most
faith in him.
Mourinho predicts a great future
for Khedira at Real Madrid: "He has to stay here for many years. Why
would a player as intelligent as him want to leave? Sami does amazing
things on the pitch and he's mastered his position perfectly".
Özil is his best friend:
"On a personal level he's an important person for me. He's my brother
at Real and playing alongside him and seeing him every day gives me
great confidence, which I also give him".
Cristiano Ronaldo also praises the German: "He doesn't joke about much,
but when he does tell a joke, it cracks you up. Sami is great for Real
Madrid, both on and off the pitch".
MARCA / picture: Denis Doyle/Getty Images Europe
- Khedira feels
Real have turned corner
Khedira says the team have turned a difficult situation around after
discussing internally where things had been going wrong.
Jose Mourinho's side appeared in disarray before the winter break,
conceding six goals in their last three games of 2012, while losing to
Celta Vigo and Malaga and drawing at home to Espanyol. They then
returned after Christmas with a helter-skelter 4-3 home win over Real
Since that game, Madrid have improved appreciably, winning three of
their last four matches, scoring 11 times while conceding none, and
appeared to be back to their very best in Sunday's La Liga 5-0
thrashing of Valencia.
Germany international Khedira said the squad had worked hard to put
things right, especially by tightening up defensively.
"We were in a difficult
situation and we were not getting good
results," Khedira said, "but we spoke among ourselves and we have
worked hard in these last weeks. We are on a good path. We are more
compact on the field.
"When you lose games, you have to change things. We had to play
tighter. We have improved especially in defence. Then with Cristiano
(Ronaldo), (Angel) Di Maria and Mesut (Ozil) we have a great counter.
We have worked on our strong points, as Mourinho has taught us. It
could be that players who were not at their maximum level before have
got there now."
Khedira was speaking at Madrid's Valdebebas training facility during
preparations for Wednesday's Copa del Rey quarter-final second leg at
Valencia, which sees the teams meet for a third time in eight days.
Even with his side 2-0 up from last week's first leg at the Estadio
Santiago Bernabeu, and Valencia reeling from Sunday's 0-5 hammering at
Mestalla, Mourinho is unlikely to make wholesale changes to his
starting line-up. Ricardo Carvalho could come in at centre-back, while
Karim Benzema, Luka Modric and Marcelo are other options to freshen
Khedira said Madrid would not just sit back and look to defend their
lead at Mestalla.
"We won the first leg 2-0, which is a comfortable advantage," he said.
"To keep a clean sheet is important but it is also important to
We must set out to attack and give everything to win the game. Like
every game, it begins 0-0."
Should Madrid progress as expected they will next face either Barcelona
or Malaga, who meet in La Rosaleda on Thursday with their tie balanced
at 2-2 from the first leg. It was too early yet to think about the
semi-final against either side, Khedira said.
"We do not need to think about the next round," he said. "We must
concentrate on this moment. It matters little to us if we need to face
Malaga or Barca. They are both strong. When the moment comes we can
then talk about that."
The former Stuttgart player, feted recently in the local media for his
improved attacking contribution after providing two goals and two
assists in his last seven games, said the backing of his coach and
team-mates were what mattered to him.
"I feel very good at the moment, in perfect shape," Khedira said. "For
me the most important thing is that the coach and technical staff are
happy with my work. I am in a good moment, but I am going to aim to
keep this level and be consistent."
goal.com / getty images
- Khedira has been
in impressive form, says Karanka
assistant has hailed the holding midfielder's importance after he put
in a fine performance to help Real Madrid beat Valencia 2-0 on Tuesday.
The Germany international was one of Madrid's key performers in the
first leg of the quarter-final encounter, and Jose Mourinho's No.2
feels the midfielder has been in impressive form since his return from
"Sami has been in impressive form since his injury. He is a player who
may go under the radar a bit, but we know how hard he works," Karanka
said at a press conference.
"It's nice to see how he plays, how he get into positions up front and
how he picks up balls at the back. He is an important player for
us. Xabi Alonso and Sami are two players who have been playing
together for some time and work hard in those positions. What counts is
the form they are in and the confidence they have."
Khedira has made 22 appearances in all competitions for Madrid this
season, scoring three goals in the process.
goal.com / getty images
- Sami Khedira ahead of the CL clash
against Manchester City
In an exclusive
interview with bwin ahead of Real Madrid's Champions League clash with
Borussia Dortmund, Sami Khedira Real
Madrid's Sami Khedira talks exclusively to bwin about the challenge of
facing English title holders Manchester City ahead of the two teams'
crucial Champions League Group D fixture on Wednesday, November 21st.
The Germany international is full of respect for Wednesday's opponents,
but believes the Blancos can emerge victorious with the right approach.
Los Blancos currently sit second in Group D with seven points from four
games, while City is bottom of the group after picking up just two
"City have fantastic players and they are all capable of being
match-winners. It doesn't matter who plays. We'll need to be very
focused to try and contain them. They're among the best in the world,"
Khedira was quoted as saying on the Bwin website.
"Dortmund showed us that it's possible to challenge City in Manchester,
playing a compact game, fighting for every ball and trying to play your
natural game. We shouldn't allow ourselves to be influenced by
our opponent, we need
to dominate the game with our attacking potential."
Madrid recorded a 3-2 win over City at the Santiago Bernabeu earlier
Madrid travel to Manchester on Wednesday in high spirits, looking to
complete a double over City which would all but guarantee their place
in the last 16 and boost their chances of overtaking Borussia Dortmund
to top the final group standings.
"If we play a tight game, competing for every ball and trying to impose
your style of play, I think we have a good chance," Khedira said. "We
must concentrate on trying to play our own way there, not letting
ourselves to be influenced by the opponent's style, but instead
imposing our strength in attack."
Khedira admitted that City also had their own attacking danger men in
Edin Dzeko, Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez and Mario Ballotelli, but would
not single out any particular individual.
"Each one of these players has too much quality for us to concentrate
on just one of them," he said. "Each has enormous quality and can
decide a match. It does not matter who plays, we will have to be very
alert to try to control them. They are amongst the best in the world."
international, 25, who returned from a hamstring injury
a goal against Athletic on Saturday night, says he feels he is
currently playing the best football of his career.
"I feel like I am a better player than in previous seasons, but as a
footballer you should never say now I am at my best age," he said. "I
think I am playing at a very good level, but there is always room for
improvement, in every aspect."
goal.com + ESPN
- Sami Khedira Comback after injury - 5:1 Real Madrid - Bilbao
Sami makes a
long-awaited return as he comes on for Ozil just after the hour mark -
Good way to announce his return: He makes it 5-1 to the hosts!
- Real Madrid Players Forcast - Sami Khedira ahead of the CL clash
In an exclusive
interview with bwin ahead of Real Madrid's Champions League clash with
Borussia Dortmund, Sami Khedira talks about growing up idolising the
legendary Zinedine Zidane and discusses his side's chances of
qualifying from the Group of Death.
- The Importance of being Sami Khedira
papers chronicling Jose
Mourinho’s dilemma in replacing Sami Khedira due to injury,
Mina Rzouki analyses the player’s importance.
Suffering an injury that
forced him off the field against Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid
relinquished control and eventually fell to the mighty Germans leaving
critics questioning the existence of the Khediradependencia notion.
In a squad
full of the world’s greatest
creative and offensive talent, Sami Khedira has often slipped under the
radar, underrated and forgotten despite providing the shine that makes
the jewels of Madrid gleam. Putting his ego aside to abide by the laws
set by Coach Jose Mourinho, the German is the ultimate team player who
puts the collective ahead of his own personal glory, making him a vital
cog in the Madrid engine.
10km a match, Khedira is by the far
the most energetic player Los Blancos have but he is also one of, if
not the most, tactically intelligent men playing under Mourinho in
Madrid. A box-to-box player tasked with winning the ball and covering
space, he is equally effective when surging ahead to take a shot on
goal or provide the key pass as he is in occupying space to shield his
No game showed
off his duality as well as the one
against Deportivo de La Coruna this season in which he provided more
key passes than any other attacking player, whilst simultaneously
acting as their best defender by tackling and intercepting passes
better than any other defensive player within the squad. He does this
all despite producing less fouls on average than almost every other
player playing in his role.
told me to ‘step
back a little, play smarter, more with
your head!’ I used to
think I had to slog my guts out to help the team even
more. Thanks to Mourinho, I now
know that this harmed the team more than
it helped. He has made me
a strategist,” explained a grateful Khedira to Welt
Online. A strategist he has become, when Madrid attacks, he
is carefully thinking of the defence and how to cover space to stop the
opponent from counter-attacking. When he is defending, he is sourcing
the key pass that would unleash the squad’s lethal
underrated, the loss of the player
against Dortmund perfectly proved his indispensability. Without his
dynamism, the Spaniards failed to press as a unit and without his
tactical intelligence, Dortmund easily identified the holes within
midfield to exploit.
one suffers more than Xabi Alonso in
the absence of his midfield partner. With the German alongside him,
Alonso can adopt a higher position on the field and dedicate more of
his time to creating play quickly. Without Khedira, the Spaniard is
often forced to adopt a deeper role to receive the ball free from
pressure, which subsequently allows the opponent a few seconds more to
stifle Alonso’s passes to either the full-backs or wingers
waiting patiently on the flanks.
A leader on
the pitch, Khedira never stops
playing, remains focused for the entirety of the match and always
believes in the win. Off the pitch, he is a strong character who is
both respected for his influence and loved for his sense of humour and
friendly touch. The man responsible for choosing the songs on the
German team bus, his hilarious one liners that include ‘Poldi
[Lukas Podolski] is not a man of many words but a man of explicit
words’ make him a delight off the pitch as well as on it.
Source: www.football-espana.net / Author:
Mina Rzouki / Fotos: dpa/Getty Images
- Sami Khedira set to miss Duch & Dortmund games
BERLIN: Real Madrid star Sami Khedira is set
to miss the next two weeks
and both his club's Champions League clash with Dortmund, then
Germany's friendly with Holland, after picking up a new leg
25-year-old defensive midfielder limped out of Real's 2-1 defeat at
Dortmund on Wednesday in the Champions League clutching his left
It was his first game back after injuring himself in the World Cup
qualifier win in Ireland on October 11.
Having also missed Germany's 4-all draw with Sweden in last week,
Khedira is now set to sit out the next fortnight and will miss Real's
return Champions League clash against Dortmund in Madrid on November 6
with his team second in Group D.
He is also unlikely to be fit for Germany's international friendly
against Holland in Amsterdam on Novemver 14.
Since joining Real after the 2010 World Cup, this is Khedira's eighth
"Royals"not only losttheChampions
Leaguematch againstBorussia Dortmund,but alsotheir
holding midfielder. Sami Khedira's evening was finished finished after19
of thigh problems the25-year-old was not able to go on-coach Jose MourinhotookKhediraout
of the gameand broughtLuka Modric.Theseverity of the injuryis determined inthe next few days.
the same problems during
Germany's World Cup qualifying matchagainst Irelandtwo weeks ago. In that match the former
Stuttgart player was
replacedafterthe first halfwith Bayernplayer ToniKross.
According to a reportsof the BILD
newspaper, coach Joachim Loew gave notice of
Khedira's injury to hisRealcoachJose Mourinho by sending him anSMS.
Khedira was not in the squad at Germany's
atmosphere at Dortmund is
one of a kind in Germany"
Khedira, who returned to training as normal with his teammates, warned
of the atmosphere awaiting Real Madrid on their visit to Borussia
know it well from my time at Stuttgart. It will be a
special moment, because the atmosphere is one of a kind in Germany," he
Mourinho's team is set to visit Borussia Dortmund as the leader of the
'group of death' in this year's Champions League, completed by
Manchester City and Ajax, and Khedira warned that the German side is
a great team, just like Manchester City. They made it
difficult for us in the first game and we only won in the final minute.
I think that all three teams – including Ajax, although
they're not doing so well on points – are big and we can't
say we should only focus on Borussia. If we win in Dortmund we'll have
taken a big step towards qualifying at the top of our group," Khedira
highlighted the players which make up Borussia, last year's
Bundesliga champion: "It's a compact team, a block. They play with a
lot of pace for the 90 minutes and tactically they're very disciplined.
Even if they don't have much experience in the Champions League, they
have a lot of quality, especially up front. It's a very good
"Talking about the World
Cup final is completely wrong"
reckons staying in the present is more important than planning for the
future. The Real Madrid midfielder warned Germany not to over think or
plan too far ahead for the 2014 World Cup. With "kicker" he talks about
the things, that have to change and his new aims with Real Madrid ...
- CL Real - ManCity 3-2 - Post-Match interview of
Özil & Khedira in German
- Champions League: Real Madrid - Manchester City 3-2
Spanish champions needed late goals from Karim Benzema and Ronaldo to
turn a 2-1 deficit into a win in their opening Group D
encounter. The night ends in misery for Roberto Mancini's men
despite two shock goals as Cristiano Ronaldo's dipping effort seals a
dramatic but deserved victory for Los Blancos.
- Sami Khedira Press Conference for Real Madrid
Khedira accompanied Jose
Mourinho in the Real Madrid City newsroom.
The white-team midfielder is conscious of the importance the beginning
of the foremost continental competition has for his team in terms of
both sports and spirit: “It’s normal to not have
very high self-esteem when you don’t start as well as you
should, but tomorrow is a very good opportunity to win, and recuperate
The German player, who said that football is the
“priority” in his life, also talked about the way
they should dispute all the competitions they enter into:
“It’s very difficult to concentrate on a single
competition. The Champions gets us going, but we could say that the
Liga isn’t enough and defending the Liga title motivates us.
All competitions get me going and we have to have the same
concentration for all of them.”
Referring to Group D, which includes his team together with three other
champions of their respective Leagues—Borussia Dortmund,
Ajax, and Manchester City—he said: “We’re
four top level teams that are champions in our respective Leagues.
I’m always happy to play against the best, and even better if
it’s in the last phase. We’re all at the same level
and the games are going to be decided by very little".
When asked about Mourinho’s words in the newsroom of the
Sanchez Pizjuan stadium, the German football player couldn’t
have been clearer: “I think we’re a team. The coach
has the responsibility and we have the responsibility to play well. We
have to play better to give the best of ourselves. The coach is right
and we played a very poor game. He has every right in the world to say
what he wants before public opinion".
- Löw & Khedira lament German misfortune
coach Joachim Löw refused to criticise his
team after last night's 3-1
defeat to Argentina
in an international friendly in Frankfurt.
A red card for goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler
half an hour proved to be the turning point, according to Low, who was
nevertheless satisfied with the way his team fought with only 10 men
for two thirds of the match. "We started very well for 20 or 25 minutes
and then the red card meant we were chasing the game," he
said. "Then there was the own goal and it was difficult for us
after that against class players like (Lionel) Messi, (Gonzalo) Higuain
or (Angel) di Maria. We made a few tactical mistakes, but the players
gave everything. It is hard to get at them early when you have a man
less. We managed it in the first 20 minutes, but not afterwards."
Sami Khedira, whose unfortunate own goal put Argentina on the road
victory just before half-time, agreed the dismissal had changed the
complexion of the game. "We had done really well before the red card,"
he said on the German Football Association's website.
"We needed a bit of time to find our feet
it. The result was fair in the end but, with a bit of luck, we could
have got a draw out of it. I am sorry about the own goal - it is my
first one ever."
Sabella applauded his side, but admitted playing against ten
men had eased the task considerably. "There was one decisive moment and
that was the penalty and the red card for Zieler," he said. "Up to
were even on top
of the game. Messi played a good game, particularly in the second half."
25-year-old believes that only the squad
should be blamed for the Euro 2012 semi-final loss to Italy and that
the criticism aimed at the 52-year-old is unnecessary. The
52-year-old's decision to field Toni Kroos as an auxiliary central
midfielder in the 2-1 Euro 2012 semi-final loss to Italy was greeted
with widespread criticism in his homeland. But the Real Madrid
midfielder insists the former Stuttgart boss has the trust of all of
his players and believes that they should have beaten Cesare
"We are 100 per cent confident in him," he announced at a press
conference. "We have no doubt because he is a competent coach. "A
trainer proves his worth by making risky decisions and no one can blame
him for his starting line-up in the semi-final of the European
Championship. We, the players, were the ones on the pitch.
"We had many chances to score before the Italians got their goal and
should also not have been 2-0 down. We didn't do what we did against
Greece in the quarter-final against Italy."
- Mourinho hails
Khedira as best in his position
tactician could not understand why Real Madrid players are
berated in sporting circles as he took up the case of face-planting
goal hero, Khedira.
Real Madrid, it is another season and another twist in the tale with a
similar story. The Capital club have come under criticism for all kind
of actions and baseless allegations, according to first team head
coach, Jose Mourinho.
took up the
case of Fabio Coentrao
and Sami Khedira, questioning the bases on which the duo are
criticised in the Iberian Peninsula. The former Chelsea and Inter Milan
manager shared that the media wants to promote negativity and are doing
a good job by the public execution of his stars.
on the topic, Mourinho rejected statements that the duo have
underperformed for Los Blancos. He
asked for a better player to replace
Sami Khedira in Real Madrid first team, stating that there is none as
the Germany International is that said player.
understand why Khedira and Coentrao are criticised all the time in
he told Spox. "This
because the media are always looking to write something negative. I currently do not know
any other player that is better than Sami in his position."
- DFB-Interview: "The hardest match so far"
high-performer in central midfield, Germany’s Sami Khedira
has been shining as a shrewd strategist, tireless box-to-box player,
and scorer of goals. On the day after his team’s 4-2 EURO
2012 quarter-final win against Greece, he spoke to DFB.de writer Steffen
Lüdeke about his duties on the pitch and the joy that
lies in special challenges ...
- Classy Khedira pulls strings for Germany
Midfielder Sami Khedira played
an integral role in Germany's dynamic attacking display as the
Mannschaft dispatched Greece 4-2 to reach the UEFA EURO 2012
semi-finals. The skill with which Sami
Khedira dictated Germany's dynamic attacking game earned him
the plaudits as the Mannschaft overwhelmed Greece 4-2 to reach the
final four ...
- WELT-Interview: "We want to
Khedira speaks in an interview with"Welt
Online" about the interaction with Bastian Schweinsteiger,the honesty
of Jose Mourinho and his girlfriend's outfits.
Gomez? Bastian Schweinsteiger? Philipp Lahm? When it comes to
Germany's most consistent player in the European Championship, usually
one name is mentioned most: SamiKhedira. The defensive midfielder has
developed during his two years at Real Madrid to a world-class
- ZEIT-Interview: "Just Like It Is With Kids"
Khedira discusses Italian
courage, Spanish pride, German ways of playing and the question of what
footballers shouldn't be allowed to do ...read
- Sportbild: Sami Khedira over Manners, Morals & Integration
Sami Khedira, what
do you think when you hear
the word “Integration” ?
Khedira: This word became a theme for the first for me in 2009. We
had a great
many players with immigrant backgrounds in the team that year and I
came to ask myself why this should be. All of a sudden there was so
Ramelow, Nowotny, or Schneider on the pitch but Ozil, Boateng and
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