Khedira: I didn't leave Real Madrid for the money

The World Cup winner insists he could have signed a “huge contract” to extend his stay at the Bernabeu but needed a change after a stressful spell

New Juventus midfielder Sami Khedira has hit out at suggestions he decided to leave Real Madrid for a better financial deal.

The Germany star signed a four-year deal in Turin after his contract expired at the Santiago Bernabeu, where he played for five seasons and won seven trophies.

Khedira, who is currently on international duty and came on in the second half of his side’s 7-0 victory over Gibraltar on Saturday, insists he could have earned more money by signing a new deal with Madrid than he will pick up with Juve.

“It hurt me when people said that,” the 28-year-old told Welt am Sonntag. “Real Madrid offered me a huge contract – one in which I could have eventually earned more. My decision to leave was not about money.

“You cannot accuse me of acting in an unfair or improper way. At one point I told my agent, Jorg Neubauer, who couldn’t be a bigger Real Madrid fan, that I wanted a change. I was tired, because in the end it was all extremely stressful.

“However, I have to say they were five fantastic years.”

Khedira admitted the expectations of playing for Madrid were at times difficult to cope with but paid tribute to the club’s global appeal.

“This obligation of having to win everything at all costs is something I have never experienced,” he said.

“Real Madrid has an image abroad that words cannot describe. The club is a magnet. No matter where you are there will be thousands of people who are with the club.

“I have experienced it myself. When I look for a holiday destination I always look for a place far away. But no matter how remote the place is, in any corner of the world, people always recognise me.”

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06 2015
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