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.
"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.