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Toni Kroos talks Modric, Benzema, Ronaldo, Vinicius, Mbappe, El Clasico, World Cup



Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos answered some of the most interesting questions asked by people related to football or across all sports in general. Among those are Jurgen Klopp, Jupp Heynckes, Robert Lewandowski, Rafael Nadal and several others.

In what is going to be a charitable motivation, the German midfielder has vouched to accept 90 cents for the Toni Kroos Foundation for each copy of the paper that will be sold.

Q: What feelings does winning five Champions leave you with? (Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool)

“Very good question, easy as it sounds. It is very difficult to gauge the successes while you are active,” he explained. 

“Many factors have to come together to reach a final. It took me a long time to digest the defeat with Bayern against Chelsea in 2012. Having won five Champions is blessed madness. And it is fantastic to read that I have achieved it.”

Q: What is the secret to winning four Champions Leagues with Madrid? (Jupp Heynckes)

“There is a very special relationship between Madrid and the European Cup. If we talk about the three Champions that we chained between 2016 and 2018, we had the essential mix: outstanding individuals and authentic team spirit. 

“At this level, there will always be situations where you must accept that you will be a worse team than the rival. If you manage to prevent your team from falling. Sometimes it’s about putting an end to misfortune. 

“In the first leg of the semi-final with Manchester City in 2022, we could easily have lost 10-1, but we lost 4-3. When City scored 0-1 in the second leg, everyone gave on us. But we are always capable of generating situations that give us new life and give life to the stadium and leave the rival thinking. 

“In the end, it is about having faith and working to create that precise action that changes everything. We have that faith. If all this happens, even a team as prestigious as City begins to think: “There are these again…”

Q: Which midfielder has paired better with you? (Roger Federer)

“I think that the constellation that has occurred in Madrid is what has come closest to what I would call perfect complements. Because in the core there was everything. Casemiro had a clear mission: clear the centre. And Luka and I are two players who don’t shy away from defensive tasks,” he explained. 

“On the other hand, we represented a lot of football, control, a game turned upside down, with many special moments. Our defensive and offensive settings were pretty perfect. 

“Above all because each of the three of us knew in which spaces we had to play, and in which spaces we had to defend. We went out on the court with the certainty that we didn’t have to talk much to each other to do well. Yes, playing with Casemiro and Modric was pretty close to perfection,” he added.

Q: Kroos, Benzema, Cristiano, Modric and Sergio Ramos are left for a party. Who chooses the venue? What music is playing? Who pays? Who is the first to return home? And who closes the joint? (Wolf Russ, SKY narrator)

“Modric chooses the venue. The music is provided by Karim, which does not mean that I like it (laughs). The one who has the most money pays: Cristiano. And I assume that I would be the first to go. 

“I’m not much of going out, I’d rather invite them home. Who are we missing? Ah, Sergio Ramos. Well, I’m going to have to change: Sergio Ramos chooses the site. And Modric closes it (laughs).”

Q: Who were his fastest rival and partner? (Usain Bolt)

“Among the rivals, I would name Kylian Mbappe. It is very difficult to stop him when he picks up speed. And among the partners, it would be a very even race between Gareth Bale, Raphael Varane and Vinicius.

Real Madrid are set to host Barcelona for the first El Clasico of the 2022-23 season. As for Kroos, his first exposure to La Liga’s biggest game came in 2014 which his team won 3-1. Speaking about it, he said,

Q: What memories do you have of your first Clasico? (Robert Lewandowski, Barcelona striker)

“We won 3-1, and the start could not have been worse. At home, at the Bernabeu, Barça took the lead a few minutes later, a goal by Neymar. And I thought, ‘Uh-huh. This is how it works in the Clasicos…’” 

“But in the end, we turned it around. It was my first big day in Madrid. You realize the importance of the game for the club and the fans days before, on the bus on the way to the stadium, and of course, in the dressing room.

Q: What is the most difficult decision you have had to make in your career? (Rafael Nadal)

“In sporting terms, when I had to change clubs, I was lucky to always have several great options, so it didn’t cost me that much. My hardest decision had to do with an injury. Last year I had a pubalgia that punished me a lot. 

“I had a lot of pain, but every week I subordinated it to the big goals: to face the Champions League quarters and semis, then the 2021 European Championship. I spent four months fighting, I played undercover. 

“It was very hard, especially training was difficult for me. But when I made the decision to move forward, I knew that difficult times were coming.”

In July 2021, Kroos announced his retirement from international football as he wanted to focus fully on his goals with Real Madrid for the next few years while spending more time with his family. Another reason was that he did not want to play the game in Qatar.

Q: Would you have finished your career in the national team even if the 2022 World Cup was played in a democratic country? (Fums, satirical magazine)

“Yes. Although now I can sell it better (he laughs). Seriously: I am totally against the World Cup being played in Qatar. Designating that country was a mistake by the federations. But it would seem wrong to me to expect the players not to play in the World Cup. 

“I already considered retiring from the national team in 2018, and I had many conversations about it with Löw. In 2018 I already knew that the 2020 European Championship would be my last tournament,” said the German.

Q: See you at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games? (Laura Ludwig, Olympic beach volleyball champion)

“No way. Right now I don’t even know if I will continue playing football in 2024.”

Source: AS

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Real Madrid News

Transfer Triumph: In-demand defender picks Real Madrid above other suitors




Photo by SAMEER AL-DOUMY/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid have received a major transfer boost as Lille defender, Leny Yoro, has chosen to join Los Blancos over other interested clubs, reports Alejandro Alcazar via SPORT.

When Paris Saint-Germain attempted to negotiate a deal with Lille, offering more money than Real Madrid, Yoro made it clear he preferred the Spanish giants. 

Despite PSG’s efforts, including meetings with Yoro’s representatives, they could not convince him to change his mind.

Interestingly, the outlet mentions that Yoro is following a similar path to his compatriot Aurelien Tchouameni, who also chose Real Madrid despite competition from PSG and several Premier League teams. 

Real Madrid really value Yoro

Real Madrid see Yoro as a valuable addition, especially with the recent departure of Nacho. This move has made it crucial for the club to find a reliable replacement, and Yoro is their chosen candidate. 

It is to be noted that Yoro has one year remaining on his contract with Lille, who initially asked for a hefty €100 million transfer fee. 

Leny Yoro has picked Real Madrid over PSG, Liverpool and Man United. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

This amount was considered too high for a player who could leave for free after a year. Lille eventually reduced the asking price to €60 million, an amount that PSG and other clubs like Manchester United and Liverpool were willing to meet. 

However, Real Madrid were not prepared to pay more than €30 million, knowing that Yoro wanted to join them and could do so for free next year.

What is Real Madrid’s strategy?

It is said that Real Madrid’s initial plan was to let Yoro play one more year at Lille and sign him for free in 2025. They were even ready to offer Yoro a special signing bonus, similar to what they did with David Alaba and Antonio Rudiger, which would be added to his salary. 

But Nacho’s departure changed everything. Real Madrid now urgently need a fourth central defender, prompting them to enter negotiations with Lille, something they had previously avoided.

To secure Yoro’s signing this summer, Real Madrid are considering raising their offer to €40 million, including performance-based bonuses. 

Lille might accept this offer, knowing that Yoro could either join Real Madrid now or stay for another year and leave for free.

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