Comeback, „La Décima“, World Champion – Khedira’s Golden Year 2014

The story of Sami Khedira is like a fairy tale. When the midfield star of Real Madrid hurt his right knee in an International match in mid-November of last year, he not only returned in less than five months back to the team training of the “Blancos”, but also was eventually a Champions League winner with the team – as one of the starting eleven in the final. Last night came the icing on the cake: World Champion! REAL TOTAL is looking back …

RIO DE JANEIRO – The FIFA “Ballon d’Or” is awarded each year to the best footballers in the world. The decisive factors are the individual skills and not the collective successes. If one, however, would give this particular award, which went to world star Cristiano Ronaldo in 2013, to the one with the most team successes, there is no way to get past Sami Khedira. Really no. The year is not over yet by far, but now, in mid-July, you could undoubtedly call him something like the „Player of the Year“, respectively. The last few months of the midfielder of Real Madrid resemble a fairy tale …


November 15th of last year, is likely to be remembered as the darkest day so far in the career of the native Stuttgarter. In the test International match of the German National Team in Milan’s San Siro against Italy he contracted a serious injury to his right knee in the 67th minute in a duel with midfield legend Andrea Pirlo: medial ligament tear and tear of the anterior cruciate ligament. When the diagnosis was certain in the early morning hours of November 16, it was immediately clear: We wouldn’t see the „Number Six“ in a long time back on the green grass. Khedira has struck an injury that is among the most serious of the sport and results, accordingly, in a months-long break. In a sustained cruciate ligament damage, usually half a year is expected. Since the midfielder had also tore up the inner band, many thought, it would be practically impossible that he travels as one of 23 players with the DFB squad for the World Cup to Brazil.

(November 14, 2013 – Source: Marco Luzzani/Getty Images Europe)

At the time of the injury, there were only seven months until the tournament opener. Seven months in which you have to be not only recovered, but also nearly fit for the World Cup matches on the highest international level.

„I think that’s it for the World Cup for Sami Khedira. I know this from my own injuries. He will not make it to the summer to come back to a top-level,” feared most-capped player Lothar Matthäus two days after the shock. He was not the only one who suspected that, but spoke rather from what almost everyone had thought.

Those in charge of the National Team were not included. And certainly not this man Sami Khedira, whose mentality didn’t allow much space for quarrels, sadness and disappointment. „Right in that night Sami was already focused on the time ahead. He simply looked forward to the truth and was already thinking about the things he could do to get healthy,“ reported Oliver Bierhoff.

Source: Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images Europe

And he got healthy. Not someday, but at a considerably early stage. On April 13 of this year, Khedira returned to Real Madrid team training . After 149 days, less than five months since the Italy game, and 60 days before the World Cup opening. Hard and intensive work for several months behind him. He fought for the fastest possible comeback and in particular for the participation in the World Cup, which is the greatest thing for any footballer. Again and again he thought of this day, taking one step at a time. What otherwise always sounds like a platitude were honest words in case of Khedira.

„My discipline I’ve got from my home, from my parents. They taught me, that you have to be disciplined if you want to achieve something. If it is something big like the World Cup, you need to forget anything else and do everything possible to achieve that goal. I did that,” the number 6 recently said in an interview with the newspaper DIE WELT. The 27-year-old made it to Brazil, the work paid off. In the weeks before the squad announcement, Germany coach Joachim Löw has already indicated that he would take the Real star, simply because of his leadership qualities, great experience and standing in the team.
„It became apparent for some time that time would be enough for him,“said assistant coach Hansi Flick to REALTOTAL.
Real Madrid played of course a big part in it as well. After returning to training on April 13th the German Champion of 2007 with VfB Stuttgart made his competitive Comeback about four weeks later, on May 11th in Madrid’s 0-2 defeat of Celta Vigo and finally came up with another two matches – one of them no less than the Champions League final on May 24th against Atlético Madrid (4-1). A game not to be outbid in importance for Real Madrid.
After twelve years it was the first time, the “white ballet” was in the final of the Champions League – and in this Khedira in the starting lineup. Neither Asier Illarramendi nor Carlos Case Miro, who remained virtually injury-free throughout the season, it was Khedira, who was allowed to start.
„The coach would not have let me started, if I didn’t make a good impression in training,“ he said.

Real Madrid player Sami Khedira (L) lifts the trophy during the Real Madrid celebration the day after winning the UEFA Champions League final at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on May 25, 2014 in Madrid, Spain. Real Madrid CF achieves their tenth European Cup at Lisbon at Lisbon 12 years later.

May 24, 2014 – Source: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images Europe

The third match after a long injury lay-off was not his best. He recognizable missed match practice and playing rhythm, which is only natural after this long period of suffering but it is also clear, that you can not recover overnight.

And yet: In November 2013 the majority of people would have thought, that getting this far would be simply impossible. And so he was one of the 23 people of Real Madrid who were able to get the long-awaited profit of „La Décima“ – the tenth Champions League triumph in the history of the Royals – as someone who stood on the grass and did not sit in tie and collar in the stands.

In 2010 Jose Mourinho brought Khedira to Madrid, three times in a row the team bowed out of the Champions League. In the fourth attempt, the dream would finally come true. Khedira and Co. had been able to go the distance.

Sami Khedira of Germany celebrates with the World Cup trophy after defeating Argentina 1-0 in extra time during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

July 13, 2014 – Source: Martin Rose/Getty Images South America

A little later, another dream should be fulfilled winning the World Cup with the German National Team after their 1-0 final win over Argentina, in which he acted because of a calf problem, in the service of the team, risking nothing and taking himself out of the starting eleven, allowing a fitter player to begin. Christoph Kramer, Borussia Mönchengladbach, represented him. The trophy went to the DFB squad because of the only goal of Mario Götze in the 113th minute. A title Germany eagerly waited for six tournaments and for 24 years. Khedira could prove in the course of the tournament that he had earned his nomination, not only because of his position in the team as a key player, but also because of his performance. With the exception of the last game in the group stage against the United States and the final, the Real Madrid played all of the remaining five games. Even that was not expected in mid-November 2013. Absolutely not.
The midfielder is the perfect example of that with diligence, ambition and discipline lot is possible. The football year 2014 is the year of Sami Khedira. He is currently the most successful player in the world and will end the calendar year as such – not measured by the number of trophies won, but the meaning. There is nothing bigger than these two titles. No Cristiano Ronaldo, no Sergio Ramos no, Gareth Bale, no Ángel Di María. Sami Khedira has won them both. The last “Merengue” who achieved this was Roberto Carlos in 2002. Yet the story of the „German worker“ has an even more special touch. Comeback, Champions League winner, World Champion – like a fairy tale.

Translated for Sami Khedira Fanpage

Source: Real Total


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