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Sami Khedira

Sami Khedira

In a Germany team that has grabbed headlines for its free-flowing attacking style in recent years, Sami Khedira’s tireless running, defensive expertise and on-field leadership have been crucial to adding steel to the creative talent in the side.

The holding midfielder has long been a mainstay in Joachim Low’s preferred starting line-up, which is why news that the Real Madrid star has recovered from a cruciate ligament injury sustained last November and been declared fit in time for the 2014 World Cup has been met with a loud chorus of approval.

Even from an early age it was clear that Khedira, who has a Tunisian father and a German mother, possessed the qualities to succeed at the very top. At the age of eight he joined the renowned Stuttgart academy and won two German youth championships with the Swabians prior to turning professional.

He repeated the feat in his debut Bundesliga season in 2006/07, before captaining the Germany U-21 side to the European Championship title in 2009. Khedira, whose younger brother Rani now plays for Stuttgart, moved to Madrid in summer 2010 and went on to win the Spanish league title and the Copa del Rey in subsequent seasons.

Khedira did not need long to establish himself in the Germany set-up but it was at South Africa 2010 that he truly cemented his place in the first team, crowning a series of superb displays at the tournament with the winning goal in the match for third place against Uruguay.

The midfielder, a model professional both on and off the pitch, was among Germany’s best players at EURO 2012 and started every game as the side swept into the semi-finals, where they were eliminated by Italy. In Brazil he will be aiming to add to an already impressive collection of silverware.

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