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May 30, 2011

Khedira: Madrid close to Barca

Sami Khedira accepts that Barcelona were worthy Champions League winners but believes Real Madrid are almost at the same level as Pep Guardiola's men.

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Barcelona received widespread acclaim for their masterful performance at Wembley on Saturday as they beat Manchester United 3-1 to become champions of Europe for the fourth time in their history.

However, Khedira believes that Madrid may have won out in their semi-final meeting had Pepe not been sent off for a foul on Dani Alves in the 2-0 defeat at the Bernabeu.

"Everyone agrees that Barcelona deserved to win the Champions League, but we don't need to improve much to get to their level," he told Kicker.

"In the [semi-final], we lost as the result of a red card that, in my view, was wrong. If we had played with 11 men against 11, we would not have lost the game."

Meanwhile, Turkey international Hamit Altintop feels he will fit in well at the Bernabeu following his decision to leave Bayern Munich.

"I regard myself as a player people would want to have, especially due to my knowledge of this sport and my positioning on the pitch," he told AS. "I am very professional and can adapt to any system or situation. I will never complain about my team's style.

"The conversation I had with Mourinho was crucial in my decision to come. I am very excited and anxious to play alongside my countrymen Sahin and Ozil. I believe things will go well for me in this new stage in my career. I only think about helping the team and showing the fans what I'm capable of."

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