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For the first time since 2002 there are two Bundesliga clubs in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals – a consequence, Real Madrid CF's German international Sami Khedira believes, of years of hard work.
The 25-year-old, who will help anchor the Madrid midfield on Wednesday when they host Galatasaray AŞ in the first leg of their last-eight tie, will also take a keen interest in how FC Bayern München and Borussia Dortmund fare against Juventus and Málaga CF this week.
The former VfB Stuttgart player told UEFA.com that the presence of the German heavyweights at this stage of the competition "is not a coincidence or [down to] luck", adding: "Schalke almost reached the quarter finals – they were just a bit inexperienced [versus Galatasaray]. Dortmund and Bayern are very strong, not only last season but also this, and they play very well at European level. It is [a result of] the continuous development in German football.
"The academies and the league give a great football education. Germany had been asleep for many years, but recently they have tried to continuously build things up. It's bearing fruit, not only with the production of great players but also great tactics and discipline. And in the end that package makes a great team."
To watch the full interview with Khedira, click on the video player above.
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