Nuri Sahin, the on-the-field mastermind of Borussia Dortmund’s championship side this season, announced today that he will be leaving the club to ply his trade with Real Madrid next season. The midfielder has been with Dortmund since the age of 12.
It has been speculated that Sahin, 22, would be leaving Dortmund for a bigger club. The Turkish international was obtained by Real Madrid for a bargain price believed to be only 10 million euros because of a buy-out clause in Sahin’s contract. Sahin signed a six-year deal with the Spanish giants after playing in 136 matches with Dortmund since 2005, although he spent the 2007-2008 season on loan to Dutch side Feyenoord. Sahin was the youngest player, at age 16, to play in Germany’s top tier, and the German-born midfielder already has 26 accumulated caps for Turkey, scoring 3 goals in international play.
Sahin is the first player to be signed by Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho, and becomes the third young player on Mourinho’s squad with a Turkish-Bundesliga background, joining former Stuttgart midfielder Sami Khedira and Mesut Özil, who played for Schalke and Werder Bremen.
Sahin was quoted at the packed press conference at Signal Iduna Park as follows. ” Real Madrid are the biggest club in the world, and I’m proud to take this step. It’s the highest you can reach as a football player, and the chance for the international career I´ve hoped for. I´m leaving Dortmund only because of this. There are not many other clubs I would give this here up for. This team is close to my heart. We´ve had three great years with a team where everyone is there for each other, and an environment that will probably never return. I´ve matured into a player who has the potential to prove himself at Real Madrid. I´ve signed a six-year-contract with them. It was a difficult decision, as I am Borusse, I love Dortmund and this club, and I will always remain a Dortmunder. It made me proud to walk into this stadium as the team´s captain. I want to thank everyone who supported me on my way. The most difficult part was to announce this decision. I will miss Jürgen Klopp. A lot. I have invited the team, the coach and the staff members as well as Herr Watzke and Herr Rauball to the next Clasico. And this is not about money. If I stay healthy I´ll earn enough of it anyway.”
Also at the press conference, Dortmund Sporting Director Michael Zorc had these comments: ” We held several talks with the aim of keeping Nuri with Dortmund on a long-term basis. We have not succeeded in this goal. All talks were held in a very good atmosphere. It was never Nuri´s intention to get a super contract with Borussia Dortmund through the offer of a foreign club, he just wanted to fulfil a life-long dream. Without this clause we probably wouldn´t have reached agreement for a contract extension in 2009. We are, of course, disappointed, but everyone would think about a request of a club like Real Madrid. There is an agreement in the contract for a fixed fee which differs domestically and internationally. Nuri has been with Borussia Dortmund since the age of 12, and we will always stay his football family. The door will always be open for him. He has been a significant part of our revival and our championship-winning team. On Saturday we will say farewell to him in a proper manner. Nuri will be hard to replace by another player. Our game will change. The team will stay together. But in this case our hands were tied.”
Anticipating Sahin’s move in the offseason, Dortmund have signed İlkay Gündoğan, 20, from 1. FC Nurnberg last week. The Gelsenkirchen native has played in 47 matches for Der Club.