28 April 2013
Real Madrid players and supporters are readying themselves for an epic match at the Santiago Bernabéu, in which they will set out to turn around the Champions League semi-final against Borussia Dortmund. Sami Khedira commented on the role that supporters will play in an interview for Bwin’s website: “They will support us 100% from the kick-off with total conviction, as they always do. I have nothing to worry about in that respect. The home crowd’s support is crucial in these matches and it can be a decisive factor. I am convinced that the Madrid supporters will give us wings in this match too.”
Khedira knows all about the legendary comebacks the White team have staged in Europe and he exudes confidence that this is going to be a remarkable duel with Borussia: “This is our last chance to get things right again. In the first leg we didn’t convince as a team and we played a weak game. Now we have to achieve the impossible. Real Madrid have seen many a magical night at the Bernabéu, especially in the European Cup. We are going to try to add another one to the list and we will be aiming as high as possible”.
The Real midfielder believes that one of the keys to this match is going to be scoring in the first minutes. “Scoring an early goal will be vital, but we have to keep a cool head as well. We have to find a happy medium. The Boss has set us up really well for this game, because if our opponents score early then we will be under still more pressure. That’s why we will be doing our best to put Dortmund under pressure up front, but not from the first minute as a game lasts 90 minutes and we have seen how quickly they can score one or more goals”.
As well as scoring goals, Mourinho’s men will have to watch out for their opponent’s power in attack: “In any Champions League match it is always important not to concede goals. Fortunately we scored one in the away leg, but we have to win by three goals and Dortmund are very solid in defense and defend really well. We have to try to attack them in a very controlled and concentrated way, but we will also have to keep it tight at the back and win 50-50 balls”.
Real Madrid have gone 40 games at home without a defeat; on their home ground they are especially strong. “We feel even more confident in front of our fans; it is a great feeling to play knowing that your supporters are right behind you, we feel right at home when we are playing here. I am certain that on Tuesday we will play a great match, but it will a big ask because it won’t be enough to scrape through 1-0, we will have to be on top form. We will set out to maintain our great run of home results”, said Khedira, who advises taking things one step at a time and not thinking about Wembley for the moment: "Now is not the time to be talking about 25 May, we must get this semi-final out of the way first. Many have written us off already. Considering the first leg result that is understandable, but we have to defend the Real Madrid colours and live up to what is expected of us. All I can think about now is turning this semi-final around."
Asked about Cristiano Ronaldo’s vital role in the team, the German player said: “Everyone who knows him realizes that he is always geared up for every game, no matter if it is a decisive one or a game where there isn’t much at stake. He is a great professional, like all his team-mates, but we are going to need him and his goals more than ever on Tuesday. We all hope we can put in a good team performance.” As for facing his team mates in the German national squad such as Reus and Götze, he had this to say: “I know them very well, they are great players and great people, but the fact that we play together for Germany counts for nothing, what counts is that it will be either Real Madrid or Borussia who will run out winners on Tuesday, nothing else matters.”