Real star Kroos still hungry
Germany’s most successful footballer continues
04/19/2023, 10:00 a.m
Toni Kroos has won four titles in the Champions League with Real Madrid so far, and even five in the Intercontinental Cup. There has long been speculation as to whether the 2014 world champion will end his career in the summer. After moving into the semi-finals of the premier class, there is no longer any talk of it.
After making it through to the semi-finals, Toni Kroos and Antonio Rüdiger were looking forward to a nice TV soccer evening with the game FC Bayern Munich vs. Manchester City – but the two Real Madrid pros reportedly didn’t have a preferred opponent. He will follow his ex-club’s quarter-final second leg on Wednesday (9 p.m. / DAZN and in the live ticker on ntv.de) in the Champions League against Man City “with interest”, said former Bayern player Kroos on Amazon Prime Video: “I’m assuming – as of now – that it will be Manchester City.” He didn’t write off Munich after the 3-0 loss in the first leg, “but it would be a big surprise, given how solid City seems.”
Just like the world champion of 2014, national player Rüdiger also assumes that the opponent in the round of the top four will pose a great challenge one way or another. “It doesn’t matter in the semi-finals, both teams are top-top teams and one of the favorites for the title,” said the central defender: “May the better one win.”
Kroos and Rüdiger reached the semi-finals with Real on Tuesday evening with a 2-0 win at Chelsea. The Royals had already won the first leg 2-0. For Real, it is the eleventh semi-final in the most important European club competition since 2011. The defending champions didn’t play particularly spectacularly, but they did so calmly and with great concentration. “When players like Karim Benzema, Modrić and Kroos are calm – why should we be nervous?” said Rüdiger, who believes that Kroos and Croatia’s Luka Modrić are “irreplaceable”.
Kroos is only missing the Spanish Cup
No wonder Real’s managers want to extend Kroos, the official announcement of the signing of the contract is only a matter of time. “Everything is going well,” said the 33-year-old. But he respects “what the club wants, how, what, when, where is communicated”. He felt a “great relationship of trust,” said the five-time Champions League winner, “and it will most likely go on for a while.” Due to his expiring contract, he could theoretically have signed elsewhere free of charge since January 1, “but we didn’t even start this nonsense.”
The experts also see him in good hands at Real. “They are just an international machine,” enthused Amazon expert Mario Gomez about the Madrilenians. Former European champion Matthias Sammer admires above all the low error rate in the real game: “Despite all the quality: You don’t afford a lapse.”
Kroos, who is often scolded in Germany as “cross-pass Toni”, has been holding the royal midfield together for almost nine years now, where he has developed into one of the most impressive title collectors in the football world. With Real he has won four Champions League titles, five Intercontinental Cup titles, four European Supercup titles and three championships in Spain. The only thing missing from his collection is the Copa del Rey, the Spanish Cup. But with the entry into the final in 2023 against CA Osasuna, this is also within reach.