"The way we played against Granada isn't worthy of Real Madrid. We came off the back of a tough match against Barcelona, but that's not an excuse", said Sami Khedira, Real Madrid's midfielder, in an interview for the German Football Federation's website in the run up to the France-Germany match to be played in Paris. In that match "we'll see Benzema, a striker who's got it all, one of the best three in the world".
Absence of Özil: "It's too easy to say that his absence was decisive, although it's true that he wasn't playing. The loss to Granada was a big setback that I still don't understand. We had been playing well. In January we were perfect; eight matches without defeat. Against Granada we had to play differently, and how we played wasn't enough, or worthy, of Real Madrid".
Trophies: "The League is impossible. However, we're third and our aim has to be to get second. And we are in the semi-finals of the Cup and still in the Champions League, and we have good chances. The dream of all the fans is to win the tenth, the 'decimo', and we'll do everything we can to achieve it. But it will only be possible if we recover our confidence in the League. That is still an important competition".
Lass Diarra: "He's playing in Russia now; I've only got good things to say about him. We competed for the same position, but he helped me so much. He speaks English well and was a good friend. He's an aggressive player, but also technically vey good".
Two and half years in Madrid: "I'm still basically the same person. My private and professional lives haven't really changed. That's not to say that I've not grown. It's been a challenge to play with such experienced footballers and to train with a coach who offers so much tactically. And of course living abroad has made me more mature, learning a different language and culture".