It has been over eight years since Toni Kroos joined Real Madrid and safe to say that in that time, the German superstar has etched his name in the history of the club forever.
The 32-year-old has been a part of the team that has won four UEFA Champions League titles, along with three La Liga crowns and several other trophies during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Along with Luka Modric and Casemiro, the former Germany international formed one of the best midfield trifectas that the game has ever seen.
On his move to Real Madrid
Looking back at his transfer to Real Madrid in 2014, Kroos revealed the thoughts that went through his mind at the time of the move, saying:
“It was the best decision for me, it was the best thing I could do. It was a big step in terms of sports and my private life, I was 24 years old and had a child.
“When you get to the biggest club in the world, you have to work right away. This means, in particular, that you have to organize everything and at the same time be fully present from day one on the field as if you have been there for ten years.”
Relationship with Florentino Perez
The 32-year-old midfield maestro also opened up on his relationship with club president Florentino Perez, as he said:
“I’m very close to him, he is a very kind-hearted person. Sometimes it can be a bit harmful, but sometimes he has to make tough decisions. From day one, he showed me how happy he was to come to his club, which is unusual for the size of the club.
“He has a lot of world-class players here, some coming and some going. And sometimes some of them are sold for a lot of money. I’ve been at Real Madrid for eight years and I’ve been feeling warm since day one.”
Kroos also explained that in his eight years at the club, he had never felt that Perez wanted to sell him even though he could have gotten a huge transfer fee for his services.
“I know in the eight years he didn’t think for a second to sell me again at some point, unless it was economically viable. I came in for only 25 million euros, surely I could have been sold again for more money but he didn’t,” he said.
European Super League
Talking about the conversations Perez had with him about the European Super League, he said:
“Precisely the plan that Perez followed, let me put it this way, ‘Never contradict your boss (laughs)’. I’m just like everyone else backstage and don’t know much. Obviously, the idea was and still is.”
“I see that the Super League is being worked on and it may take some time, but in my opinion in the end it will become a reality, but I cannot say when,” he added.
Thoughts on the Premier League
The midfielder gave his take on whether he considers the Premier League to be the best competition in European football, saying:
“You can’t say that because there are a lot of big teams, but it’s hard to say. The English Premier League did not win a European title this year. I think teams from Germany and Spain are keeping up.”
Explaining that financial benefits are not always what attracts players to a club, Kroos said:
“TV earnings have been the highest in England for years, yet English teams haven’t benefited and that’s a good sign that it also depends on what the training looks like, and what is the name of the club. Real Madrid and Barcelona are by no means small names.”
“Not every player looks at salary there, but also looks to win a lot and improve more,” he further added.
On Cristiano Ronaldo
The talk then shifted to his former teammate and Real Madrid legend Cristiano Ronaldo, who is back in the Premier League with Manchester United. Kroos spoke highly of the Portugal captain, saying:
“I can tell that there was a lot of work that he put in to get here. You can see him playing football on the weekend, that he drives home with the Ferrari and is on the huge poster. What you don’t see: What he invests every day to stay that way, always to get better.”
“Look at him, he is 37 years old. Not just how he looks, see how he plays, how fit he is, how much he invests every day of the week, whether on the training ground, at home or in his diet.
“He didn’t get here because his name is Cristiano Ronaldo, but because he’s investing an incredible amount to keep going,” Kroos further added.
On his international retirement in 2021
Kroos was part of the Germany squad that won the FIFA World Cup in 2014. The midfielder hung up his boots on the international stage in 2021 after accruing 106 caps for Die Mannschaft. Explaining his decision to do so, he said:
“When I think back to my first year after leaving the national team and how I was still at my best in the Champions League final, it felt the right time to make that decision.”
Player who have the potential to play for Real Madrid
When quizzed if there were any youngsters he believed have the potential to play for Real Madrid, Kroos picked two of his teammates in Fede Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga along with Bayer Leverkusen and Germany sensation Florian Wirtz.
“I like Florian Wirtz. We have Federico & Eduardo, who already play a really good role with us and are definitely players who will shape the next few decades.”
Source: OMR Podcast
Real Madrid preparing ‘huge summer revolution’ with three mega targets
Real Madrid were relatively less active than usual during the recently-concluded winter transfer window, with the club not making any notable moves in the transfer market.
However, the coming summer could be an important one for the club, especially with a string of players having their contracts expiring at the end of the season. While the Merengues have already prepared for renewals, they are also keen on strengthening the squad by bringing in new players.
To that end, a report from Tomas Gonzalez suggests Real Madrid are planning for a ‘big revolution’ in the coming summer.
The Spanish champions have identified three top targets in the form of Jude Bellingham, Dusan Vlahovic and Josko Gvardiol. The club are determined to sign all three targets in the coming summer, as they look to shore up their options in every position.
Bellingham has been linked with a move to Real Madrid for quite some time now, with various reports claiming that the Englishman is the club’s priority target in the summer as they look to find a long-term replacement for Luka Modric.
As far as Gvardiol is concerned, the Croatian was one of the best-performing defenders in the World Cup. Although a centre-back by trade, Gvardiol’s ability to operate at left-back should make him an excellent asset for Carlo Ancelotti, who has struggled with depth in the fullback spots this season.
Vlahovic, meanwhile, was reportedly offered to Real Madrid during the summer transfer window. The Whites were not too keen on splashing the money in the middle of the season, but it appears they are considering a move for the Serbian in the summer.
Vlahovic will likely be considered as a direct replacement for Karim Benzema, who has had issues with injuries. The Frenchman, in fact, has recently suffered a knock in the game against Valencia and is likely to be ruled out against Mallorca on Sunday.