It hasn't been uncommon lately for Sami Khedira to take to his social media accounts to post pictures of himself training hard, simply tagged with "happy". It has been a long road to recovery for the Germany and Real Madrid midfielder, as he himself noted in the interview given to 11Freunde last month.
(Translation by J A Marsano)
On Carlo Ancelotti and the club's attitude toward him:
The German national team doctors were all present for my operation. So were the Real Madrid doctors, to observe. Ancelotti called me every single day in hospital. The coach of such a massive club surely had more important things to do. Nevertheless, he took time out every day to ask after me.
On his operation and Madrid's understanding:
It was a risk, to do both parts of the operation [on his knee] at once. But it would speed recovery. I had to ask for permission from Real Madrid. They gave permission without question and fulfilled every wish. Normally a club wants to have everything under their own control, but Real Madrid allowed me to do my rehabilitation in Germany too. I was allowed to stay away for months. But that just shows you what a great club Real Madrid is.
On whether a club like Madrid would have the patience to wait for an injured player:
I went to visit the squad in February when they played Schalke. It was like I had never been away. Everybody took time to meet me, even though they were playing a Champions League match three hours later. My colleagues were all very friendly.
On his recovery in general:
I was impressed by the attitude of Holger Badstuber (of Bayern Munich, very seriously injured in both knees) and by his calm and confidence. It humbled me. He would say to me: "The World Cup is all well and good. But first look after yourself."
I have to take it step by step.
Joining Sami Khedira, are the following players. The vast majority of the squad, as always, is drawn from the Bundesliga, with some Premier League and Serie A representation as well. Sami Khedira is the only German La Liga player to have been called up.
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (FC Bayern München), Roman Weidenfeller (Borussia Dortmund), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hanover 96).
Defence: Jérome Boateng (FC Bayern München), Erik Durm (Borussia Dortmund), Kevin Großkreutz (Borussia Dortmund), Benedikt Höwedes (FC Schalke 04), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Marcell Jansen (Hamburger SV), Philipp Lahm (FC Bayern München), Per Mertesacker (FC Arsenal), Shkodran Mustafi (Sampdoria Genoa), Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund).
Midfield: Lars Bender (Bayer 04 Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (FC Schalke 04), Matthias Ginter (SC Freiburg), Leon Goretzka (FC Schalke O4), Mario Götze (FC Bayern München), André Hahn (FC Augsburg), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Toni Kroos (FC Bayern München), Maximilian Meyer (FC Schalke 04), Thomas Müller (FC Bayern München), Mesut Özil (FC Arsenal), Lukas Podolski (FC Arsenal), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), André Schürrle (FC Chelsea), Bastian Schweinsteiger (FC Bayern München).
Attack: Miroslav Klose (Lazio Rome), Kevin Volland (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim).
Notable absences are Max Kruse and Mario Gomez. The final squad will be announced after Germany's first training sessions come to an end.
We at Managing Madrid would like to congratulate Sami Khedira on further proofs of his recovery, and to wish him a happy and injury-free World Cup!
Welcome back, Sami!