In an interview with Spanish newspaper Marca which was released today, former Real Madrid midfielder Nuri Sahin who played for the club in the 2011 - 2012 season (making just four appearances in La Liga), spoke about his time at the club as well as whether or not Jude Bellingham would be a good fit in the Spanish capital.
“That was the hardest year of my career because I had a serious injury and didn’t play,” Sahin said of his brief stint at Real Madrid. “I didn’t play much and had superstars around me. I arrived from Jurgen Klopp, who is completely different from Jose Mourinho. The day I left we had a chat and what I love about Jose is that he is tremendously honest. He looks you in the eye and tells you everything. If you are good, you are good. if you’re not, you’re not. I was young, and he asked me ‘why are you doing this?’ Now that I’m a coach, I understand that and I think about my time with Jose and I can’t say anything bad. This is the way he works and he never changed it. I learned many things. He’s a fucking winner and he’d give it all up for you.
“As a player I was sure that I could play for Madrid, I was a player of a high level, but at Madrid it is not enough to be a good player, you have to be mentally strong. The Madrid train never stops. I trained with world-class players and I also had quality, but after the injuries I couldn’t stand the pressure, the tension. I was impatient, I wasn’t mentally prepared. Looking back, I should have had more patience, valued more where I was. Everyone told me ‘you’re in Madrid, you must be happy’, but that wasn’t enough.”
Sahin was also asked if Jude Bellingham could have similar struggles joining Real Madrid from Borussia Dortmund.
“But this guy is so mentally prepared,” Sahin said of Bellingham. “Have you ever seen a player like him? This boy is ready. I hope, as a Dortmund fan, that he stays with us. But this boy is very smart. I have many friends in Dortmund and they told me that when he arrived at the age of 16 they thought he was a boy of 25. I was never as prepared as he was.”