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Dublin: 10°C Wednesday 30 September 2020

'I didn’t feel my life was in danger' - Juventus star confident heart surgery won’t cut career short

Sami Khedira has also rubbished reports that he was considering a move this summer.

Sami Khedira in action during a pre-season friendly.
Sami Khedira in action during a pre-season friendly.
Image: Alberto Gandolfo

SAMI KHEDIRA HAS rubbished reports suggesting that he considered making a move away from Juventus this summer and is confident that undergoing surgery won’t cut short his career.

The World Cup-winning midfielder says he never felt his life “was in danger” when a dizzy spell after training led to him needing an arrhythmia operation. He says he’s also working towards getting back to playing “at the highest level.”

Arsenal were among those said to be considering an approach for Khedira.

No deal was done before the Premier League transfer window shut and Khedira remains on the books of the Serie A champions.

He claims to have never expected anything else, with the 32-year-old confident that he can earn a place in Maurizio Sarri’s plans despite added competition for places from the likes of Aaron Ramsey.

Khedira told Kicker: “I haven’t talked to any other teams. I know there’s many of us and that Juve must sell. At 32 and having played just 17 games last season, I was always going to be scrutinised.

“It’s always been like that for me, but I’ve always ended up playing. With Juve, everything was clear from the start of preseason.

I wouldn’t leave and I didn’t want to leave. I heard I was only staying for the money. That struck me because then the fans believed it. I’ve never played for money, only to win trophies.”

He added: “Sarri wants us to play in a totally different kind of way.

“For that reason, we’ve had some difficulties and we need time to adapt to the new system, but it’s normal.

“Playing a different kind of football, pressing, intensity, passion and intelligence. They’re all things that appeal to me.”

Khedira endured injury and health concerns in 2018-19, with a knee problem keeping him sidelined while heart surgery raised questions of whether his career could be over.

The former Stuttgart and Real Madrid star is, however, adamant that he is back to full health and ready to continue competing at the highest level for the foreseeable future.

“My knee is fine and I feel completely fit, I trust my body,” said Khedira.

“Last season was unlucky for me. I wasn’t very happy, with all the injuries to my knee, the heart operation. I’d entered a negative spiral. 

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“I questioned everything: do I still have fire in my belly? Do I still have the right physical condition? I replied ‘yes’.

“If you play for Juve you always want to win the Champions League, you have to improve year after year. And I always want to be amongst the 11 starters.

After a training session, I felt dizzy and I couldn’t see clearly. I warned the doctor, but I didn’t feel my life was in danger and the arrhythmia operation was almost routine.

“I’m convinced that I can get back to being at the highest level, otherwise you’d be talking to a pensioner and not the footballer Khedira. I can play at such a level for three more years.”

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