The former midfielder shared the dressing room with Cristiano Ronaldo in Spain and Italy.
Sami Khedira has revealed how Cristiano Ronaldo changed between their spells at Real Madrid and Juventus together.
The pair go a long way back. They first became teammates in 2010 at Real Madrid, winning titles like the Champions League and La Liga, before Khedira joined Juventus in 2015.
Ronaldo followed the German to Turin three years later, claiming back-to-back Serie A titles and more domestic cup titles along the way until they both left the club in 2021.
‘I knew two Cristianos’
Now Khedira, who retired last summer after a brief spell at German side Hertha BSC, has discussed how Ronaldo matured into a leader during their second spell together in Italy.
“I met two Cristianos,” the 34-year-old told ESPN.
“The first was at Real Madrid. He was a bit young, a bit more insecure and selfish, too. Not selfish in a bad way — just in the way young strikers are … he had to find his personality.
“And then the second Cristiano, after he moved to Juventus … he was much more of a leader. Still driven by ego and selfishness to score, but more about pushing his teammates, helping them be better. Off the pitch, he was much more relaxed and much more mature, but on the pitch, always focused and just as intense.
“We saw it on the first day, taking shots on goal. He was so competitive, whether it was that or playing 4-on-4; he’d want to bet on it, say 100 Euros or a bottle of wine. He’s a competitor and if he loses, he gets angry. So nobody wants to let him down.”
What next for CR7?
The 37-year-old returns to action on Sunday for the second and final Manchester derby of the season.
Given their 19-point gap in the Premier League table between Manchester City and Manchester United, on top of being the away side, the latter is the underdog. A Reds win is priced at 7.50 at the time of writing.