Khedira: Schweinsteiger is still our leader

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It would be a "big mistake" to presume the Manchester United midfielder's time at the top level is winding down, says Germany's stand-in skipper

Sami Khedira has warned against writing off stricken Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Juventus midfielder Khedira will skipper the world champions in Schweinsteiger's absence against Italy in Munich on Tuesday, with the Manchester United man having suffered partial tear of his right medial collateral knee ligament during the build-up to Saturday's 3-2 loss against England.

Khedira has suffered more than his share of injury setbacks over recent seasons and believes Schweinsteiger can return to a prominent role with Joachim Low's national team, despite his Euro 2016 participation now being in doubt.

"I have to say that it is a big honour for me to captain the Germany national team," Khedira told a news conference. 

"But personally it's not that important for me at the moment because Bastian Schweinsteiger is still our captain. 

"Everyone who writes him off makes a big mistake. And, in fact, we have several players who can take responsibility. In the end the manager decides who wears the captaincy."

Khedira is looking forward to facing a selection of his club team-mates at the Allianz Arena, adding the move to Juventus from Real Madrid has revitalised his career.

"The transfer to Juventus was very important for me," he explained. "I had a really hard time at the end at Real Madrid; at Juventus I developed a new spirit.

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"In tactical aspects the Italians are very clever. I'm feeling well in Italy and the level of the league is definitely higher than it is often presented in the public opinion."

Khedira added: "Especially now, it's a special game for me against Italy. But there were always special games between Germany and Italy. 

"It is our last friendly in preparation ahead of [the squad being selected for] the Euros. We will try to give a good performance on the pitch."

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