Sami Khedira is hanging up his boots. The midfielder announced his decision at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon. “Exactly 14 years ago to the day, I was able to celebrate becoming German champions with VfB Stuttgart. That was a wonderful day, today is one that is very difficult for me personally, because on Saturday at around 5:15 o'clock, my career will come to an end,” said our number 28, visibly moved, on the decision. “It's quite a difficult step and it's hard for me to talk about it, but it's the right decision. 15 years in professional football have had their effect and I have to honestly assess what I still can and can't do. What prevails at the end of the day is my gratitude for everything that I've been able to experience.”
The 2014 World Champion ran out eight times for Hertha after joining the club at the beginning of the year. On the pitch, Khedira helped coach Pál Dárdai with his intelligence and knowledge of the game, while bringing his professionalism, experience and personality to the dressing room. “I sit here now as an older man and I've been able able to experience beautiful moments with the 'Old Lady' once again. I got to know an incredible number of great people in the team and at the club during these five months. Pál said that I experienced more here in these five months than anywhere else in five years, which sums it up quite well!” Khedira's ninth and last game as a Hertha player will therefore be his last as a player. “On Saturday, what matters once again is picking up the three points! It is a game that we want to win." Khedira left his future open but hinted that he will remain involved in the sport. "For now, I want to take a break and recover. I will stay in football, in what form remains to be seen. I definitely have the motivation, enjoyment and energy for it.” The 2014 World Champion also had a message for the younger generation: “Finally, I would like to give a message to younger players: Take your chance. Give it everything you've got. Working on yourselves every single second pays off.”
Great successes, a full trophy cabinet
Khedira, who made his professional debut at the Olympiastadion for VfB Stuttgart, has enjoyed a decorated career. After the German title in 2007 with Stuttgart, Khedira moved to Real Madrid, where he won the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Super Cup once, the FIFA Club World Cup twice, a Spanish championship, the Copa del Rey twice and a Spanish Super Cup between 2010 and 2015. Then a move to Juventus followed, but the silverware did not stop there. During his time in Turin, Khedira won five league titles, three Italian Cups and one Italian Super Cup. Perhaps the greatest honour in a fantastic career was lifting the World Cup with Germany, for who the European U21 champion from 2009 picked up 77 full caps. After 446 competitive games for Hertha, Juventus, Madrid and Stuttgart, a legend of the game is now stepping aside. We thank you for everything, Sami, and wish you only the best for your future!