Sami Khedira said he was frozen out by Real Madrid this season and has been hurt by claims that he was unprofessional.
The Germany midfielder has opted to leave Santiago Bernabeu when his contract expires at the end of a season in which he has made only seven starts for the Spanish giants.
The 28-year-old World-Cup winner has been troubled by injury, but stressed that is not the reason why he has featured so infrequently for Carlo Ancelotti’s side.
He told Marca: “You always have to tell the truth. I did have a small injury, a pain in my right heel, but that wasn’t why I wasn’t playing. It wasn’t a complicated injury, I was able to play.
“I’ve always felt that I’ve had the coach’s backing, but the message indirectly came through to me that I was no longer needed, I was frozen out and wouldn’t have a chance to continue playing.
“Nobody from the club said anything to me directly. It’s all feelings, incidents and comments saying I wouldn’t play any more. But nobody approached me.
“There were many meetings. The last one was in October. After many conversations, I wasn’t sure about extending my contract by four years. I had doubts and in December I decided that it was better to go down another path and take on new challenges.”
Khedira also hit back at critics who questioned his attitude as he prepares to end his five-year stay with the European champions.
“What has happened this season has hurt me to the bottom of my soul. It’s not the end that I wanted” he added.
“It hurts that I’m accused of a lack of professionalism because I’ve always put the team ahead of myself. I’ve always gone with the truth.
“I’ve felt happy at Real Madrid. I leave with the respect of everybody who’s worked alongside me and with a clear conscience. It’s normal for the press and supporters to criticise me on occasions. That’s football.”
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