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Khedira: "'La Décima' means everything to Real Madrid"

"At times I was a bit rash but Mourinhho corrected that part of my game. He told me to go play a bit further back and to use my head more. He is the best coach I've ever had."


Khedira: "'La Décima' means everything to Real Madrid"

Sami Khedira spoke to the official UEFA Champions League magazine ahead of Real Madrid's semi-final clash with Borussia Dortmund.

The German midfielder reaffirmed how important winning the tenth European Cup, 'La Décima' is to the club, and spoke about how his role has changed since he arrived at Madrid.

"When I arrived in Madrid everyone spoke about 'La Décima'. It took me a while to understand as I could not speak Spanish initially, but now I know that in Real Madrid, 'La Décima' is everything," he said.

Pressure: "The Champions League is not pressure, it is our goal. It is the team's desire to win the trophy, the only player that has won it with Madrid is Casillas. There is always pressure on Real Madrid, but we are used to it. To win trophies is my ambition since I started my career, so the pressure is not a problem. It is probably more of a motivation than a burden."

Why he gets such little media attention: "I understand why all the attention is on Cristiano Ronaldo, Ozil and Benzema. That's normal, they are the artists, they are the ones that pull off incredible bicycle kicks or go on mazy runs. We have an incredible team and the best attacking players in the world, but first we need to get hold of the ball."

His inspiration: "I think of myself as a reliable footballer, strong and with a huge desire to win. During my youth I looked up to Patrick Vieira. He participated a lot in attack, he was very strong in defence, he ran a lot, he was aggressive and he had great ability."

Change in roles: "When I arrived at Madrid my main role was to defend. It was my job to defend, but I've always been more attacking when playing for Germany and Mourinho realised this. At times I was a bit rash and he corrected that part of my game. He told me to go play a bit further back and to use my head more. He thought I needed to get rid of my impulses so I could help the team more, but now I play in a more calm way. Mourinho has made me a strategist. He is one of the best coaches around and the best I've ever had. He sees the strong points in every player and he always wants to get the best of you."

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