Real Madrid stars keen on Kroos stay after Bayern Munich masterclass

AFP , Wednesday 1 May 2024

Toni Kroos has not decided where his future lies but his team-mates are hoping he chooses to stay at Real Madrid after his Champions League masterclass against Bayern Munich.

Real Madrid
Real Madrid s German midfielder #08 Toni Kroos reacts during the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg football match between FC Bayern Munich and Real Madrid CF on April 30, 2024 in Munich, southern Germany. AFP

The experienced 34-year-old German midfielder shone for Real in their 2-2 semi-final first leg draw at his former stomping ground in Bavaria on a gripping Tuesday night.

Kroos's contract expires in the summer after a decade with the record 14-time Champions League winners.

"I want to win as much as possible this season -- I don't think about the future," he said after the game.

Looking beyond obvious standout Vinicius Junior, who netted both of Madrid's goals against Bayern, Kroos was Madrid's finest player in a match where Los Blancos could have been beaten.

Thomas Tuchel's Bayern created more chances and Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said they were at their best, compared to his side which only showed their top level in flashes.

Kroos was by contrast supremely consistent and his superb ball for Vinicius helped Madrid take the lead.

The former Germany international was a step ahead of everyone else on the pitch, pointing to Vinicius where he planned to play the ball, a pass which didn't seem to be on.

Vinicius, closely acquainted with Kroos's quality, made the right run and the veteran threaded the needle with his slide-rule pass.

"We train together so much, I know Kroos very well and he knows me very well," explained the Brazilian forward.

Vinicius' strike-partner Rodrygo said he would love Kroos to stay.

"We always tell him (Kroos) to stay, not just one but many years more, age doesn't matter," Rodrygo told Movistar.

"He's so masterful, with such class, I love playing with him, I hope he keeps going."

- 'No words' -

Kroos made some vital interceptions in midfield, was a threat from set pieces and in the first half hour did not misplace a single pass.

By half-time only one of his 49 had gone astray and by the end 79 out of 82 found their target.

The midfielder showed his experience as well as his class, having a word with Madrid goalkeeper Andriy Lunin, telling him to stay calm after a hurried clearance.

It was Kroos charging up the outside early in the second half, with Manuel Neuer beating his effort to safety at full stretch after a slick move.

He was booked for a tactical foul on Bayern striker Harry Kane and took the armband after Nacho Fernandez was substituted.

The Bayern match is Kroos' 10th semi-final tie and the only player who has lifted the trophy more is former Madrid winger Paco Gento, a six-time winner.

Kroos and several other players are tied on five.

The German did not look happy to be replaced in the final stages, given the calibre of his performance.

"(It was) just for more energy, Kroos played a very good game," explained Ancelotti.

"There are no words to define him. He is a top player, crucial for our game, for the way he controls the speed (of the game), and for his passes."

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