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Toni Kroos praises ‘exceptionally good’ Real Madrid new recruit: “Great talent for his age”



Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos has said that new signing Arda Guler has impressed him a lot, adding that he is the kind of player that makes one question a lot of things.

Madrid signed Guler from Fenerbahce after agreeing to pay more than his release clause. The youngster signed for the club from the capital city for a fee reported to be around €20 million.

Clips of Guler getting better of his Real Madrid teammates in training have already stormed the internet but the 18-year-old is yet to make an appearance for his new team.

All this, though, has impressed veteran midfielder Toni Kroos who has nothing but admiration for the young player.

“He’s one of the talents who ask ‘How do you do that? How did you pass like that?’ he is someone who wants tips, there are a lot of 18-year-olds who already think they’re too good and they don’t need tips. But he has the mentality to learn,” said the midfielder in his podcast Einfach mal Luppen (h/t Real Total).

The former Germany international went on to add that at his age, Guler is exceptionally talented, hailing his technical awareness and his ability on his left foot.

“You really have to say that he is a great talent for his age. He has a very, very fine left foot. You will see that often. He has a great left-footed shot and is technically exceptionally good, especially in tight spaces. I think that’s a very good and smart transfer – especially for the future, of course,” he explained.

At the same time, the experienced midfielder said that managing such young talent is of extreme importance, especially since the players are now judged based on their price tags.

“He definitely brings a lot to be successful here. Yes. On the other hand, you have to be a bit careful with big announcements, they’ve been around a lot and have been less fulfilled by others. In this club, in particular, other questions decide whether someone is successful. It’s not just a talent, a technique, or a shot,” he said.

At the same time, Kroos praised the youngster for being someone “who is very open to tips, looks and asks a lot. That’s always a very positive sign.”

“There are often 17 or 18-year-olds who think how good they are and don’t need any more advice. That’s not the case in this case, that’s a really good quality. There are good conditions there,” he added.

Kroos is now on the wrong side of his 30s and since he has already retired from national team duties, questions about his future are bound to be raised. The 33-year-old, however, knows how to handle these.

“How strong are you physically? How do I deal with setbacks? How prone to injury am I? How do I deal with the pressure that prevails at a club like this? How assertive am I in terms of personality to assert myself in a team like this? These are all questions that cannot yet be answered at all. That’s why I’m careful with superlatives,” he said.

Considering the number of players Carlo Ancelotti now has in midfield, the Italian is likely to make a few changes in his approach. In that regard, a 4-1-2-1-2 formation is being tried out by the manager in pre-season, in the hope that it can get the best out of talents like Guler and Jude Bellingham.

Speaking about the aspect, Kroos said, “I don’t know exactly, but I guess we don’t practice it for fun. Logically, there is a plan behind it. It is good to have an option apart from the 4-3-3. 

“That’s the system that we’ve practiced a bit since the start of training and are now trying to bring that onto the pitch at a competition level. And then let’s see how it works. Whether that’s the system we start the season with or use it here and there, we’ll see. I don’t think anyone really knows.”

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Real Madrid News

Bellingham reacts after Real Madrid 1-0 Union Berlin: “Every day I’m very grateful to be here”



Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images

Just over a month into the 2023/24 season, Jude Bellingham is already the toast of the town in Madrid.

Indeed, the 20-year-old midfield prodigy has made a sensational start to life as a Real Madrid player and the story continued last night on his UEFA Champions League debut for the club.

With the game against Union Berlin seemingly headed towards a draw, Bellingham found himself in the right place at the right time to turn home a late winner in stoppage time and send the Santiago Bernabeu into a state of frenzy.

The England international is making it a habit of scoring late winners for Real Madrid and is basking in all the admiration that is coming his way.

Following yet another match-winning performance, which led to him being named the MVP of the game, Bellingham spoke to the club’s media and said:

“It was a good win. It was a tough match, they were very well-organised at the back. It was frustrating at times, but we knew we had to keep insisting and try to find those gaps.

“We missed a lot of chances, but in the end, I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time to score.”

On his dream start to life at Real Madrid with six goals in six games, Bellingham said: “I am very happy. Every day I am very grateful to be here. I come with a smile on my face, happy to learn from my teammates and to keep winning. Winning is the most important objective here.”

“I didn’t expect a start like this. I was confident in doing things well and, so far, it’s going very well. I’ve got my feet firmly on the ground and I’m calm. I hope it continues like this,” he later added.

The 20-year-old sensation also opened up on the goal he scored last night to win it for Los Blancos against Union Berlin, saying:

“I thought I had to follow the ball, just like against Getafe. They’re not aesthetic goals, but you have to be there to score them. Now it’s my turn to take advantage of those moves, but we’re a team and we help each other with the moves. That’s key.”

Talking about the atmosphere at the Santiago Bernabeu on a Champions League night, Bellingham could not hide his joy at experiencing it as he said:

“It’s the best. I thought La Liga was going really well until I heard the noise after the goal. I’m crazy about the support of the fans. You don’t know how big this club is until you are part of it. Hopefully, I’ll be here for many years to come.”

Signing off, he had a few words about Real Madrid’s start to the season, with six wins in six games across all competitions, saying:

“It’s the most important thing. At the beginning of the season, we would have signed it. We have to maintain this level and carry this rhythm into the next game. We all have to continue with this level of play because we have a lot of games ahead of us.”

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