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Toni Kroos talks World Cup final, Messi, Modric, Benzema, Hakimi, Varane



Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos has said that although he is rooting for France to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, a career like Lionel Messi’s deserves a world title as well.

Lionel Messi’s story at the World Cup has arguably been one of the finest, with the Argentine scoring five goals and three assists in six outings. In fact, the former Barcelona player has been involved in a total of five goals (G3, A2) in his last three games.

At the same time, however, France have been without several first-team members such as N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba among others and have yet managed to reach the final.

Speaking about the game, Kroos said that he is supporting France mostly because two of his Real Madrid teammates are one step closer to making history.

If we talk about personal reasons: France,” he told Real Total, when talking about who he wants to win the FIFA World Cup final. 

“Two of my teammates are in France’s team. On the other hand, I have to be honest: with a career like Messi’s, it wouldn’t be wrong if it was crowned with a World Cup title,” he added.

Meanwhile, he also admitted that he is yet to send a message to his club teammate Luka Modric following Croatia’s 0-3 defeat to Argentina in the semi-final.

“Not yet, I wanted to give him a day. I’m still writing to him. I know that sometimes it takes a day and, above all, that after games like this you get 2000 messages and can’t keep up with the replies. Then it’s better to connect in a quiet minute and with good luck for the next game.”

Argentina were awarded a penalty during the game – a decision that did not please Modric. Kroos and said that although it was the correct decision, the referee made a wrong decision leading up to the goal.

“It is a penalty for me. No wrong decision, but there was a corner for Croatia leading to it that wasn’t given.”

Speaking about Karim Benzema who missed the World Cup through injury, Kroos revealed that the Frenchman is back in training and has recovered very well.

“He’s been back in training for a few days. He also makes a really good impression. It was definitely very, very bitter for him not to be able to play in the World Cup. 

“Precisely because he had only returned to the last European Championship and you never know how old he will be until the next World Cup. But he seems to have recovered really well and is fit again.”

Lastly, when speaking about his former teammates Achraf Hakimi and Raphael Varane, he said,

“I think he’s [Hakimi] great. We played together for a year. Back then you saw in training that he was an extremely fast and, above all, attacking full-back. There are so few of them that even back then I thought: He has something special. 

“I think you can learn to defend better where he had his weaknesses and what he totally caught up on. He’s always had the offensive side. It wouldn’t have been a problem if he’d stayed a little longer.

About Varane, who left Madrid for Manchester United last year, he added: “Incredibly fast. Really one of the fastest teammates, I would even say. There were a few quick ones. He’s really incredible.

“I haven’t seen anyone run away from him in the time here. He was a solid pillar with us alongside (Sergio) Ramos in the really big years.” 

“He did an outstanding job and a really complete package. He doesn’t do miracles with the ball up front but is a highly awkward defender to play against. You can’t beat him in the air, as I said, he’s incredibly fast, can’t run away from him either. Good man,” he concluded.

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Real Madrid News

Brazil ready to wait until June for Carlo Ancelotti – Romano



Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Earlier today, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti spoke openly about the rumours linking him to the vacant Brazil national team job.

The Italian tactician has emerged as the top target for the Selecao to succeed Tite, who was let go of after the FIFA World Cup 2022.

The president of the Brazil Football Confederation (CBF), Ednaldo Rodrigues, has made it clear that Ancelotti is the preferred candidate for the job.

Reacting to the same, Ancelotti, during his press conference today, said: “The reality is that the Brazilian national team wants me and I love it and I’m very excited about it, but then I have to respect the contract I have and I want to fulfil it.”

“I’m not surprised that there are these rumours. It doesn’t affect me, it doesn’t worry me. I’m just focused on fulfilling my duties with this club and with this team. I’m still here until Real Madrid allow me to stay.”

While the 63-year-old might be saying that he wishes to fulfil his contract at Real Madrid, which expires in 2024, he did not shy away from stating that he was happy about Brazil’s interest in him.

And now, Fabrizio Romano (h/t Madrid Zone) is reporting that the Selecao are ready to wait until June to go ahead with the appointment of Ancelotti.

While the Italian tactician remains in control at this point at Real Madrid, things could change drastically over the next couple of months.

The La Liga title looks already out of the Merengues’ hands while they are also trailing Barcelona in the Copa del Rey semi-final. If they fail to go all the way in the UEFA Champions League as well, Florentino Perez could decide to make some changes, starting with Ancelotti.

Hence, Brazil are happy to wait patiently until June and see how the situation is at that point and whether Ancelotti is available. With no major matches coming up for the Selecao until September, they can afford to wait as well.

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