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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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Khedira admits life in Madrid isn't easy

Sami Khedira admits he was left wondering what he let himself in for at Real Madrid after the team drew 0-0 at Real Mallorca in their first league game of the season.

Khedira, 23, left Stuttgart for Madrid after an impressive World Cup with Germany this summer, but he has already had a taste of the pressure at the Bernabeu after their opening day disappointment.

However, while he knows life will not be easy in Spain, he intends to prove that he can cut it at the very highest level.

"Everything must be perfect," he told Kicker. "Definitely, the first few weeks are not easy. When you get to a new country and do not speak the language and your team is criticised by the media in the first game, you wonder what you have let yourself in for.

"You have to be extremely strong to bear it, but for me it was clear from the beginning that if you go to Real Madrid, you have to contend with the highest of standards."

Despite the harsh start to life at the club, Khedira, who speaks good English but is now taking Spanish lessons, says the players have made him feel very welcome since his arrival.

He added in the Stuttgarter Nacrichten newspaper: "What's most remarkable is that the team is packed with international stars but there is still a down-to-earth atmosphere. Cristiano Ronaldo has already given me advice.

"Xabi Alonso speaks perfect English. Diarra, who is my main competitor for a place in the midfield, has already told me about the nature of the game in Spain."

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