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Friday, July 13, 2012
Beckenbauer: Bayern need Khedira

ESPN staff

Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira is exactly the type of player Bayern Munich need to help end a run of two seasons without a trophy, the club's honorary president, Franz Beckenbauer, has said.

Beckenbauer believes the Germany international Khedira has matured into one of the country's finest midfielders and would provide the leadership he says Bayern have been lacking.

"Khedira is one of those prototypes - one who is prepared to sacrifice himself for the sake of the team,'' he told the Tz newspaper. "You can hardly find those kinds nowadays, and you really need players like that in your team.

"I have not been pleased with the last two years for Bayern. If you only give 70 or 80% of your potential, then that is just not enough - and that is the problem."

Some German pundits have voiced the opinion that Bayern, who lost the Champions League final to Chelsea on penalties last season, have lacked fighters at crucial times.

Beckenbauer said players who could drag their teams through difficult matches and runs of poor form had just as big a role to play as the more technically flamboyant, adding: "You don't just get players like them so easily. Khedira has matured into a real leader, and players like him are a rare commodity nowadays.

"Today, players are almost exclusively wizards. Everybody wants to play like Lionel Messi, but there is only one Messi."

Khedira, 25, joined Real form German side VfB Stuttgart after impressing at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

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