After signing for Real Madrid in the summer of 2011, Turkish international Nuri Sahin struggled to break into the first team after a string of injuries kept him sidelined. For the 2012-2013 season, Madrid loaned Sahin to Liverpool, but the English club worked with Madrid to cease the loan after five months. This past January, Real Madrid announced a lone deal with Borussia Dortmund for Sahin that will see the midfielder remain in Germany until June 2014.
The following interview was published by As in Spanish on March 14, 2013.
As: How are you? What is your physical state?
Sahin: Very well, both physically and mentally- everything is perfect. I feel much better since returning to Germany. My goal is for Dortmund to remain in second place because the Bundesliga title seems difficult, but we want to go after the Champions League with a bit of luck.
As: Do you speak with Mourinho?
Sahin: Yes. We talk on the phone sometimes. We chat about football and life. The Mister feels well. I think the match against Manchester United was very important to Madrid. Now they’re in a perfect position. You hear more about Cakir’s refereeing decision than about Madrid’s performance, but Madrid’s performance was very good. They’re doing a great job. It’s not easy beating Barcelona twice. The truth is that Madrid is one of the favorites to win the Champions League.
As: Will Madrid win la Décima this year?
Sahin: (Smiles) I hope that we win the Champions League- Borussia Dortmund. Madrid always craves la Décima. I know they are preparing to go after it.
As: Could your time as a White have been very different if it wasn’t for your injuries?
Sahin: Before arriving to Madrid I had already recovered, but then I suffered a new injury on the first day of training. If I hadn’t had that issue, I’m certain that everything would’ve gone much differently for me. But these things happen in football. I don’t want to dwell on the past. I’m in one of the best teams in the world. I never hung my head and I believe I will have a lot of success. My transfer to Real Madrid was a dream, and I achieved it. As it happens I had other offers that were better financially. Still, I fulfilled my dream but was unable to demonstrate my true ability. If you suffer an injury at the start of the season with Madrid it makes it very hard for you to become a starter.
As: Do you keep in touch with some of your former Madridista teammates?
Sahin: Yes. I always talk with Kaká, Carvalho and Khedira.
As: What was it like to share a dressing room with Cristiano?
Sahin: Being able to play with him was a great opportunity. He is an incomparable professional- incredible. In one year I learned a ton from Cristiano. He is humble and friendly. Perhaps there are people who don’t think this way, but he is very warm and humble.
As: What happened to you in Liverpool?
I did not fail with Liverpool. Brendan Rogers wanted me to play as a ten, but I don’t play behind the strikers. I spoke to him and asked him why he wanted me to play there since it’s not my real position. The Mister couldn’t answer me…Even so, I don’t regret it. Playing with the red shirt in Anfield is something marvelous. Who knows, if I hadn’t gone there I might not have been able to return to Borussia Dortmund. For what it’s worth, I’m happy. I’ve left Brendan Rogers, thank God.
As: Which stadium moves you the most- the Santiago Bernabéu, Anfield or Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park?
Sahin: Borussia Dortmund’s stadium, of course…