Turkish midfielder Nuri Sahin finally took a bow with his new soccer team Real Madrid this past weekend as part of their 7-1 blowout of fellow Spanish club Osasuna. His debut was delayed by a knee injury, after having signed with the club this past summer from Borussia Dortmund. He admitted to being nervous prior to his debut, but he received a warm welcome from the crowd as he was introduced as a second-half substitute.
Sahin, who was a key figure in Dortmundâ€™s Bundesliga title success last season, told the clubâ€™s website: â€œItâ€™s been a great day for me. I wish to thank everyone at the Santiago Bernabeu, my team-mates, the manager and the president. I must now work hard to be able to help the team.
â€œIâ€™m very happy for playing my first game with Real Madrid. Itâ€™s been difficult being injured. I was a little nervous before coming on because it was my first match before the fans. I felt confident and happy after a couple of minutes. We must continue to work hard because we will face difficult games after the league break.â€
Real extended their lead at the top of the Primera Division of Spainâ€™s La Liga to three points after their blowout victory, coupled with rival Barcelonaâ€™s 2-2 draw at Athletic Bilbao later in the day.
It was a big day for another Muslim footballer on Real Madrid as well, as French striker Karim Benzema scored twice. Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo added a hat trick. The one negative note was the injury sustained by Angel Di Maria. The Argentina winger was forced off with what the club described as a hamstring injury, having set up all three of Realâ€™s first-half goals.