Gladbach - Real Madrid

Europe: Champions League
Gladbach M. Thuram (33), M. Thuram (58)
Stadion im BORUSSIA-PARK2-2
Real Madrid K. Benzema (87), Casemiro (90)

Kroos acknowledges Gladbach challenge, but has faith in his adopted home team

By Peter Vice

A 3-1 win over Barça in this weekend's "El Classico" takes some pressure off of Toni Kroos and his Real Madrid teammates. The Spanish giants, coming off a 2-3 defeat to Shakhtar Donestsk in their opening Champions League encounter, will nevertheless be expected to pull off a big win against Gladbach in today's trip to Nordrhein-westfallen.

The German international, recently recipient of his 100th cap for country, warned his teammates that a challenge awaits them.

Toni Kroos.
Toni Kroos.

"I believe that they have developed very well," Toni Kroos said of his Tuesday opponents, "Marco Rose has done a great job as coach." Kroos was quick to add, "but fear doesn't exist for me in football. I trust our strength."

While the 30-year-old midfielder "always enjoys" his trips back to Germany, it remains clear that he now considers Spain his home. Since moving to Real ahead of the 2014/15 campaign, Kroos revealed that he "has never spoken to another club" and envisions finishing his career in a royal white tricot. 

In multiple interviews over the years, he has said that he never regretted leaving German giants FC Bayern München to further his career abroad. Speaking about his former club, he acknowledged that Real Madrid's era at the top of European football had come to a close. 

While Real were indisputably the best European club team between 2016 and 2018, Kroos noted that "Bayern are without a doubt the best team in the world." Kroos labelled this inconvenient truth "something that one must acknowledge."

Kroos still expressed the wish to "win at least one more Champions League trophy" and emphasized that victory in Gladbach remained an absolute must in pursuit of this goal. He warned his teammates that "a challenge awaits us" while still confidently predicting that the team rise to the occasion. 

1Yann Sommer
18Stefan Lainer
28Matthias Ginter
30Nico Elvedi
25Ramy Bensebaini
6Christoph Kramer
32Florian Neuhaus
23Jonas Hofmann
13Lars Stindl (C) ↩79
10Marcus Thuram ↩71
14Alassane Pléa ↩79
21Tobias Sippel
31Max Grün
7Patrick Herrmann ↪71
16Ibrahima Traoré
36Breel-Donald Embolo ↪79
3Michael Lang
17Oscar Wendt
24Tony Jantschke
11Hannes Wolf ↪79
19Valentino Lazaro
22László Bénes
43Rocco Reitz
Real Madrid
1Thibaut Courtois
17Lucas Vázquez
5Raphaël Varane
4Sergio Ramos (C)
23Ferland Mendy
15Federico Valverde
8Toni Kroos ↩71
11Marco Asensio ↩84
9Karim Benzema
20Vinícius Júnior ↩70
13Andriy Lunin
26Diego Altube
7Eden Hazard ↪70
18Luka Jović
25Rodrygo ↪84
3Éder Militão
40Sergio Santos Fernández
10Luka Modrić ↪71

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