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Real Madrid midfield icon opens up on being booed by fans in Saudi: “It was quite fun”



Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images

Speaking on his podcast Einfach Mal Luppen (h/t MARCA), Real Madrid midfield superstar Toni Kroos has opened up on the treatment he received from fans in Saudi Arabia.

The 33-year-old midfield icon was booed and whistled by the fans when Real Madrid played Atletico Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup semi-finals. He was at the receiving end of a similar treatment in the finals against Barcelona as well.

The treatment emanated due to Kroos’ words against young footballers moving to Saudi during the summer window, with the German icon terming Gabri Veiga’s move to the country as ‘embarrassing‘.

Now, reacting to the treatment, Kroos stated that it did not bother him at all and instead it was kind of fun.

“It was something new and also exciting. You could empathise with someone who often experiences this in visiting stadiums. That was a new experience, something I hadn’t had before, but I didn’t want to miss it,” he said.

“I can say, from the bottom of my heart, that it didn’t bother me or affect the way I played, on the contrary, it was quite fun.”

“The joke is that the stadium was all white and they were all Real Madrid fans. I think there were 200 Osasuna fans in the semi-final and maybe 1,000 Barcelona fans in the final. So the rest of the stadium was completely white, so actually (the booing) was for me (laughs).”

Further discussing the matter, he added: “I thought from time to time, who can hold out the longest? (…) Over time it could become boring and in the final I noticed that there were fewer and fewer of them (laughs).

“When they changed me, everyone pulled themselves together again and gathered all their strength (to whistle for him). You get used to it and it makes you smile. The booing confirms what I said, I was probably right.”

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Real Madrid’s best lineup next season with Kroos retiring, Mbappe and Endrick joining



Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images

It is set up to be a transformative summer for Real Madrid. After the UEFA Champions League final has concluded and the grand showdown finally has a victor, the Merengues are expected to undergo a squad revamp.

Indeed, the Santiago Bernabeu is preparing to welcome several high-profile signings, while also bidding farewell to some beloved Madrid legends.

Considering the potential arrivals of Kylian Mbappe and Endrick, as well as Toni Kroos’ recent retirement, here is how Real Madrid could shape up next season:


Having made a long-awaited return from injury, Thibaut Courtois is anticipated to guard Real Madrid’s goal next season once more.

The Belgian goalie has already started featuring in the starting XI and is expected to play against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final, too.

As such, his place for next season is hardly in doubt. However, unlike previous seasons, he will face much fiercer competition from Andriy Lunin, who has enjoyed a stellar campaign.


Fortifications in the defensive line remain high on Real Madrid’s priority list in the upcoming summer transfer window. However, even with the given options the Royal Whites boast assurance and grit in their back-line.

The likely occupants on the flanks would be Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy, who have both produced great exhibitions throughout the campaign.

Ferland Mendy has the full trust of Carlo Ancelotti. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Carvajal is known to punish defensive lines and on the defensive end, his anticipation of forwards has been equally appreciable.

Meanwhile, Mendy’s resurgence this season has earned him immense faith from the coaching staff, as his defensive aptitude continues to set him apart.

In the centre-back positions, Real Madrid are expected to rely on the dependable figures of Antonio Rudiger and Eder Militao.

Real Madrid consider Rudiger to be indispensable owing to his front-footed style and the important role he has had to play amidst the injury crisis. Similarly, Militao is valued by the team as he proceeds to regain match fitness after recovering from a long-term injury.


The void of Toni Kroos in midfield will compel coach Carlo Ancelotti and co. to
reconsider their midfield strategy.

Real Madrid will be unable to count on Kroos next season. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Thankfully for Real Madrid, their succession stage had begun a while ago and they have ample options to trust in the center of the park.

With Aurelien Tchouameni protecting the base of midfield, Real Madrid will possess security and deep progression.

Ahead, occupying the interior midfield positions, Fede Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga are well-suited to provide a combination of energy off the ball and threat in possession.

And to put the cherry on top, Jude Bellingham’s place as the number 10 behind the two strikers would certify his status as a pivotal playmaker and scorer in the team’s setup.

However, he is adept at making third-man runs and connecting the midfield with the offence and could play deeper to not only make up for Kroos’ absence but also facilitate more options up front.


Real Madrid’s offensive department is where the largest reform is expected to take place.

Kylian Mbappe’s goalscoring instincts need little introduction by now and he is thus anticipated to be fielded as the striker.

Vinicius Jr. is expected to take up the position as a secondary striker drifting from the left, something he has become quite accustomed to this season.

Endrick will have to battle for a starting spot. (Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images)

It is worth noting that Endrick could also play a part by either replacing Vinicius off the bench and playing off Mbappe.

It remains to be seen how many men forward Ancelotti will commit to but the presence of Mbappe and Vinicius seems set in stone, given their huge profiles and status in world football. How the manager uses Rodrygo Goes will be interesting to see as well.

All in all, considering Ancelotti’s proficiency in profiling players, Madrid fans can expect to see these stars play in favourable environments.

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