Toni Kroos has been one of the most consistent performers for Real Madrid over a number of years.
The German midfielder has been an ever-present as Los Blancos have won five Champions League titles since 2010.
In an interview with Movistar+’s ‘Universo Verdano’ program, the former Bayern Munich midfielder admitted that his success with Los Blancos means more than winning the World Cup in 2014.
“I prefer my five Champions League titles,” Kroos explained to Movistar+.
“It’s because of the quantity and because I always like consistency.
“Winning five in eight years is something very special. It isn’t a difficult question.”
Kroos was signed by Florentino Perez, and the pair have since had a very positive relationship, with the German midfielder crediting the president with creating a successful environment.
“If we talk about Real Madrid, we have to talk about Florentino Perez,” he added.
“He was the man who signed me, he welcomed me with great affection from the first day until today.
“There hasn’t been a day in these eight and a half years that I’ve had a problem with him. Our relationship is open and honest, he knows my character, he knows I don’t do stupid things. I don’t talk to the press, for example, to generate something. He knows that if there is something I will say it to his face, and I expect the same from him.”
Winning the 14th Champions League
Kroos was part of the Real Madrid team that was a shock winner of the Champions League in 2021/22, overcoming Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool en-route to their incredible triumph.
“I don’t know how to explain it. I always prefer to talk about us and not the opponent, but what happened in those second legs at the Bernabeu played a part,” he continued.
“The atmosphere in the stadium, the truth is that I had never seen anything like that, and it wasn’t just once.
“I said, and not everyone liked this, that it would be difficult to win the Champions League that season. I knew we had a good team, but I really wasn’t sure we could win the Champions League. We played against the best teams in Europe and it became more and more difficult. I’m still surprised, but we deserved to win it. If you beat the four best teams in Europe then you deserve it.”
The differences between Bayern Munich and Real Madrid
Kroos left Bayern Munich to sign for Los Merengues, and has been able to examine what playing for both of the behemoth clubs is like.
“The desire to win doesn’t change, but the style of football does” he stated.
“With Cristiano and Gareth, they had a lot of counters and defended, this has changed a bit but we still have some of that.
“My style of football is to just have the ball, it’s better than running after it. You should tire the opponent out and then attack. Today we have more possession than seven, eight or nine years ago, but we also know when to accept not having the ball.”
Leaving Bayern Munich was a tough decision for Kroos, especially after he had worked so closely with Pep Guardiola.
“Pep fought until the last day for me to stay,” he added.
“If I had to choose a perfect coach for my game then it’s him. I really enjoyed that year, I learned and he improved me a lot, but then I had to decide whether to sign a contract for five years, knowing that Pep could leave before then.
“In the end the club made it easy for me because we didn’t reach an agreement. What surprised Bayern Munich was the fact I did what I had been saying for four or five months. I always thought I deserved a certain salary and they saw it differently. I said from day one what I wanted, they didn’t want to pay that and I left.”
Casemiro’s departure was a surprise
Toni Kroos played alongside Casemiro in one of Real Madrid’s greatest ever midfield trios. Luka Modric completed the trio and they enjoyed incredible success.
In the summer of 2022, Casemiro was sold to Manchester United as that trio was broken up, in a move which shocked the German.
“I was surprised,” he said.