Khedira: Real Madrid forced me to leave

The Germany international says the club exaggerated the severity of his injury problems in order to deny him more game time

Sami Khedira has accused Real Madrid of forcing him out of the club, claiming that coach Carlo Ancelotti was instructed not to pick him.

The Germany midfielder has decided to leave the Santiago Bernabeu when his contract expires at the end of a season in which he has made only seven starts for the Spanish giants.

The 28-year-old World-Cup winner has been troubled by injury, but stressed that fitness problems have nothing to do with his lack of game time.

“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,” Khedira told Marca.

“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.

“Nobody from the club said anything to me directly. It’s all feelings, incidents and comments saying I wouldn’t play anymore. But nobody approached me.

“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.”

Khedira also hit back at critics who questioned his attitude as he prepares to end his five-year stay with the European champions.

“What has happened this season has hurt me to the bottom of my soul. It’s not the end that I wanted” he added.

“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.

“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.”

A summer return to Germany appears on the cards for Khedira, with Schalke the front-runners for his signature, but he has also reportedly attracted interest from a number of English clubs, as well as Italian duo Juventus and AC Milan.