The kid brother of a World Cup winner, Rani Khedira is writing his own story with Union Berlin...
Stats correct as of 9 July 2023
Age: 29 (born 27 January 1994)
Club: Union Berlin
Position: Defensive midfielder
Country: Germany (13 youth caps)/Tunisia
Khedira only missed one of 34 Bundesliga fixtures in 2022/23, as Union upset the applecart by finishing fourth to qualify for the UEFA Champions League for the first time. The 6'2" midfielder ranked inside the capital club's top five for challenges won and passes completed, and sixth league wide for distance covered.
Watch: Rani Khedira fired Union into the Champions League on the final day of 2022/23
Khedira previously spent four seasons at Bundesliga rivals Augsburg. The VfB Stuttgart academy product was also part of the RB Leipzig team that won promotion to the top flight in 2016. More impressive still - particularly for a player in his position - Union's No.8 has never been sent off as a pro.
Plays a bit like: Axel Witsel
A textbook holding player, who has the basics down to a T, Khedira is reminscent of Belgium general Axel Witsel, who spent four years at Borussia Dortmund before moving to Atletico Madrid in summer 2022. Patrolling in front of the back line is his prime concern, but he is also a natural leader and the link between defence and attack in a Union side that loves to play on the counter.
Did you know?
Khedira hails from good footballing stock. Older brother Sami enjoyed a storied career for club and country, winning the Champions League with Real Madrid and World Cup with Germany. Denny Khedira, meanwhile, works in sports management.
What they're saying
"Rani deserves to be in the Germany squad. He has peformed at an unbeliveably high level in the Bundesliga and in Europe over the past two years." - Union sporting director Oliver Ruhnert
Translation: Rani Khedira for Germany - although he is also eligible to play for Tunisia, but has reportedly turned down the opportunity
"He plays at a really high level and has an incredible engine." - Germany legend Bastian Schweinsteiger
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