At the height of his career, Sami Khedira was one of the very best central midfielders in the world, even winning the World Cup in 2014 with Germany. Now firmly fading out of the spotlight at the age of 34, Sami Khedira has announced his retirement from the game after a fantastic, trophy-laden career.
The German World Cup winner, well known for his dynamic and all-round style of play, started his career in 1992 with TV Oeffingen. After three key formative years, Khedira joined VFB Stuttgart’s academy in 1995, where he would eventually go on to make his Bundesliga debut. His development at Stuttgart was rather seamless, easing through the academy ranks within a few years.
After making over 21 appearances for Stuttgart’s B team, he was called up by then manager Armin Veh for his Bundesliga debut on October 1, 2006 against his current club Hertha BSC. Khedira later scored his first two goals on the 29th of October that year in a 3–0 win against Schalke 04. He continued on as a regular in the team from there, and even scored the game-winning goal on the final day to clench the championship for his club. It was Stuttgart’s first title in fifteen years, and a remarkable achievement for both the young Khedira personally and his beloved team.
The hard-tackling defensive midfielder would stay for three more seasons with Stuttgart before catching the attention of European superpowers Real Madrid. This was Khedira’s chance to really make it on the world stage, and show everyone his undeniable class.
REAL MADRID & JUVENTUS
In the summer of 2010, Sami Khedira joined Real Madrid for a fee around €15million on a five-year-deal. He instantly became a regular in the team alongside the likes of Xabi Alonso and Mesut Ozil, appearing 40 times across his first season in Spain alone. Many midfielders in the world would do just about anything to make one appearance for Los Blancos, let alone forty in one season as one of the regulars in the team. Jose Mourinho’s team would fail to win anything more than the Copa del Rey that year, but the Stuttgart-born midfielder would go on to win seven trophies in five years at the club, including the La Liga title in 2011-12 and the UEFA Champions League in 2013-14.
After running out his contract at Real and winning the World Cup with Germany, Khedira moved to Italy to join Serie A champions Juventus on a free transfer. His successful time in Turin in which he won four cups and five league titles was eventually marred in his final two seasons at the club as he succumbed to the nature of life with injuries. A muscle tear and an irregular heartbeat condition limited the midfielder to just 22 league appearances in his final two seasons at the club, and he was eventually let go to Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin.
HERTHA BERLIN & RETIREMENT
Khedira had a slow final year in football at the age of 34, helping Hertha steer clear of relegation with his nine appearances in the league. It wasn’t exactly what the German would have envisioned his final year to look like, nor would he have wanted his final three years in football to be so limited. But nonetheless, Sami Khedira can walk away from his footballing career with his head held high, knowing that he won trophy after trophy for some of the world’s greatest teams.