Lucky fans corner Sami, who's in S'pore on holiday with girlfriend
STAR DRAW: Fans delighted to meet Sami Khedira (above, centre). The German star and girlfriend Lena Gercke (below) are in Singapore for a holiday. PHOTOS: COURTESY OF NICK TAN, REUTERS
If his throwaway remark is to be believed, there is every chance World Cup winner Sami Khedira could still be a Real Madrid man next season.
Fresh from his World Cup victory last Sunday, the German midfielder was spotted in Singapore with his girlfriend Lena Gercke on Thursday.
A group of football fans, who call themselves the "Star Chasers", was alerted to Khedira's visit by a member who is a Real Madrid fan.
Four of them, including 38-year-old civil servant Norman Jalal, managed to track Khedira down at the Fullerton Bay Hotel at around midnight after a four-hour wait.
Apart from getting pictures taken and memorabilia signed, they also asked about the German's club future, which is linked to Arsenal and Chelsea, even though agent Jorg Neubauer denied yesterday that there was any approach from either English club.
"One of us, a Real Madrid fan, begged him to stay at the Bernabeu." Norman said
Khedira smiled and replied: "Hopefully."
Norman added: "The rest of us joked that there were plenty of choices for him in the English Premier League but, before he could respond, the hotel manager stepped in and asked us to give him time to rest."
The 27-year-old Real star and his partner were believed to be staying at the hotel.
But, unlike in Brazil where he eluded the marking of world-class opponents with ease, this time he couldn't give his fans the slip.
Creative director Nick Tan, 36, who also managed to meet Khedira, said the player tried to evade the group of fans.
"He tried to run away when he saw a group of us waiting for him at the hotel," said Tan.
"We managed to corner him and, in the end he seemed quite happy to entertain photo and autograph requests from the group of about 10.
"He spent about five minutes signing their jerseys and boots, while his girlfriend looked on."
The couple were dressed simply, with Khedira in a grey long-sleeved T-shirt and 26-year-old model Gercke in a white tank top with short sleeves.
Pictures of Khedira in Singapore also made their rounds on Twitter and Instagram, with another image of him in a cap, white T-shirt, bermudas and slippers, and Gercke in a black T-shirt and denim shorts, as they shopped at Far East Plaza.
Khedira is hot property after he became only the 10th footballer in history to win both the World Cup and the Champions League in the same year.
During Tuesday's World Cup homecoming in Berlin, Khedira was asked where he will be plying his trade next season.
As he was about to answer, teammate and Gunner Lukas Podolski interrupted and yelled: "Arsenal!"
- Additional reporting by SAZALI ABDUL AZIZ