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

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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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Features

Euro 2024: Rating every Real Madrid player’s performance at the tournament

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Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images

The UEFA Euro 2024 came to an end last night with Spain being crowned the champions of Europe thanks to a 2-1 victory over England in Berlin.

Considering how well La Roja played throughout the tournament and their performance in the finals on Sunday night, they were the deserved winners of the trophy.

With Spain lifting the trophy, Real Madrid veteran defender Dani Carvajal added another title to his already successful campaign finishing 2023/24 as a La Liga, Champions League, and EURO winner.

Nacho and Joselu, who were still contracted with Real Madrid when the Euro started, joined Carvajal on that list while Jude Bellingham finished on the losing side.

Real Madrid had a total of 13 players representing them at the Euros in Germany and not all managed to make a solid impression. Here are how the Merengues’ stars fared at the European Championships.

Spain

Dani Carvajal: 8/10

The Spanish right-back was one of the stars of the show at the Euros, playing an integral role in La Roja’s success. Carvajal kicked off his first Euro with a goal in the opening game against Croatia and continued to be a reliable player for Spain both in defence and attack.

Carvajal forged a strong partnership with Barcelona’s Lamine Yamal on the right flank and even played a key role in the team’s opening goal against England in the final.

Nacho: 6/10

Technically no longer a Real Madrid player, Nacho was still contracted with the club when the Euros kicked off. Starting in the opener against Croatia, he helped Spain to a clean sheet against Croatia.

The veteran defender also put in solid shifts in the quarter-final and semi-final ties against Germany and France, respectively and helped see out the game against England last night.

Joselu: N/A

Behind the likes of Alvaro Morata and Mikel Oyarzabal in the pecking order, Joselu, who left Real Madrid at the end of June, played just 90 minutes across two games.

England

Jude Bellingham: 6.5/10

Failed to deliver. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Having enjoyed a dream season with Real Madrid, Jude Bellingham was unable to replicate those performances for England.

While he did score two crucial goals, including a stunning bicycle kick to keep his team alive against Slovakia, and assisted Cole Palmer’s strike in the finals, his overall display left a lot to be desired.

France

Kylian Mbappe: 6/10

Real Madrid’s newest acquisition, all eyes were on Mbappe heading into the Euros. And even though France made it as far as the semi-finals, the 25-year-old failed to live up to the expectations with a nose injury impacting his displays.

Mbappe finished the tournament with a solitary goal and two assists, but as he admitted after the defeat to Spain, his Euro will go down as a failure.

Aurelien Tchouameni: 6/10

Making a return from injury during the tournament, the Real Madrid midfielder was a solid presence in the centre of the park for France alongside N’Golo Kante without really standing out a great deal.

The 24-year-old provided strength and stability in midfield for Les Bleus and even tried to get upfield in matches. But his shooting from distance was way off the mark.

Not up to the mark. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Eduardo Camavinga: 5/10

Starting just one of France’s six games and featuring as a substitute in three more, Eduardo Camavinga was not a major presence for Didier Deschamps’ side at the Euros which came as a surprise.

The Real Madrid starlet did show glimpses of quality when he did get a chance but not enough for him to make an impact.

Ferland Mendy: N/A

Having made a return to the France setup for the first time since 2022, Mendy did not play a single minute at the Euros, with former Real Madrid left-back, Theo Hernandez being preferred by the manager.

Germany

Antonio Rudiger: 7/10

Carrying on from where he left off for Real Madrid, Rudiger was a solid presence at the heart of the German defence at the Euros in his homeland.

Came up against some tricky forwards throughout the hosts’ quarterfinal run but did well to hold his own, but was guilty of losing Mikel Merino for Spain’s goal that eliminated Germany.

Toni Kroos: 6.5/10

It was not a fairytale ending for Kroos, who waved goodbye to his international career with a forgettable display against Spain during which he could have been easily sent off for the array of fouls he committed.

Prior to that, however, Kroos was instrumental for Germany in their run until the quarterfinals, stringing play together from the centre of the park.

Turkey

Arda Guler: 7/10

Arda Guler made a good impression at the Euros. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

One of the breakout stars of the Euros, Arda Guler showcased his talent and potential, helping Turkey to the quarterfinals of the tournament.

The 19-year-old started off with a wonder-goal against Georgia and also added two assists to his tally in his first major tournament, following in the footsteps of greats like Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney. A bright future awaits.

Croatia

Luka Modric: 6/10

Unlike recent years, Luka Modric’s Croatia were unable to get past the group stages, with the veteran midfielder finishing the tournament with a goal from under 240 minutes.

Ukraine

Andriy Lunin: 2/10

Started the tournament as Ukraine’s No. 1 against Romania but made costly errors that saw him lose his place in the starting XI. Did not feature again after the opener as his team crashed out of the group stages.

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