Germany’s World Cup-winner Sami Khedira believes his new club Juventus is just as strong and powerful as his former team Real Madrid.
Khedira joined Juve this month as a free agent after turning down a contract extension to remain at Real. The 28-year-old midfielder signed a four-year contract with the Italian champions and was unveiled to the media on Wednesday.
“I spent five wonderful years with Real Madrid and I had already made up my mind a while back that I needed a new challenge,” Khedira said.
“Juve is at the same level as Real Madrid. It was a simple decision to take.” Khedira joins a side that won its fourth straight league title last season as well as the Coppa Italia – to clinch the domestic double for the first time since 1995.
Moreover, Juve, under first-year coach Massimiliano Allegri, reached the Champions League final for the first time since 2003 after beating Real in the last four of the competition. The Bianconeri lost 3-1 to Barcelona in last month’s final.
“It’s a great honour to play in Serie A,” Khedira said. “It’s a challenging competition and there are many strong teams. “Juve have also proved they can compete at the same level against any European side. I want to experience again a Champions League final.”
Khedira joined the Madrid outfit five years ago from Stuttgart and won La Liga, the Copa del Rey and Champions League titles during his first three seasons at the Bernabeu.
The Germany international won his first and only Champions League trophy two years ago when Real beat Atletico Madrid 4-1 in extra time to clinch the club’s record 10th European Cup in Lisbon.
Khedira believes Juve has enough quality to go all the way in Europe next season.
“Several things need to fall into place to win the Champions League,” he said. “But with the squad we have, we can reach the Champions League final.”
The Turin giants have reinforced their attacking line following the departure of the team’s top scorer Carlos Tevez to Boca Juniors this month.
Juve have signed Italy international Simone Zaza from Sassuolo, Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic from Atletico Madrid and Argentinian forward Paulo Dybala from Palermo. Another Juve player who left the club at the end of the season was Italian veteran midfielder Andrea Pirlo.
Pirlo left Juve after four successful seasons with the Bianconeri and has moved to Major League Soccer to play for New York City FC.
“I didn’t know that Pirlo would leave when I began negotiations with Juve,” Khedira said. “But I know that I will have to work hard to earning a starting place in the team. We need to work hard, giving it all to achieve our aims.”
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