Khedira sets the record straight in a interview with the Spanish daily.
Q. What has really happened over the last month and a half? A. You always have to tell the truth. I did have a small injury, a pain in my right heel, but that wasn’t why I wasn’t playing. It wasn’t a complicated injury, I was able to play. I’ve always felt that I’ve had the coach’s backing, but the message indirectly came through to me that I was no longer needed, I was frozen out and wouldn’t have a chance to continue playing.
Q. What exactly do you mean with “indirectly… I was no longer needed”? A. Nobody from the club said anything to me directly. It’s all feelings, incidents and comments saying I wouldn’t play any more. But nobody approached me.
Q. Why haven’t you renewed? A. There were many meetings. The last one was in October. After many conversations, I wasn’t sure about extending my contract by four years. I had doubts and in December I decided that it was better to go down another path and take on new challenges.
Q. Many people have accused you of a lack of professionalism. A. What has happened this season has hurt me to the bottom of my soul. It’s not the end that I wanted. It hurts that I’m accused of a lack of professionalism because I’ve always put the team ahead of myself. I’ve always gone with the truth.
Q. Have you felt badly treated at Real Madrid? A. I’ve felt happy at Real Madrid. I leave with the respect of everybody who’s worked alongside me and with a clear conscience. It’s normal for the press and supporters to criticise me on occasions. That’s football.
Q. Would you like to leave a goodbye message? A. I want to thank everyone, my teammates and the fans. The club will remain in my heart forever. I’m very proud to have worn this badge for five years.
Q. Which teammates are you going to miss the most? A. When I arrived, my best friend here was Mesut. We were always together and it was hard for me when he left. He was a great player, but above all for me, I lost a friend. However, his transfer helped me to fit in with the team and improve my Spanish. I got really close to Nacho and Morata, for example, two great guys. But there are a lot of players whom I consider my friends.
I will miss Iker, who is a legend. Sergio Ramos, an extraordinary leader, a true leader, and an example to follow. Cristiano, who works hard like no other. Luka, who is a good friend and person… he has had bad luck, but I hope he recovers soon because he is one of the best midfielders in the world.
Q. Do you think the club will sack Ancelotti? A. I see no reason why because the team is delighted with him. He’s done great work. I’d like to see him stay.