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 be following his ex-club's quarter-final second leg against ManCity "with interest" today (9 p.m. / DAZN) in the Champions League, said former Bayern player Kroos on Amazon Prime Video: "I'm assuming 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."
Rüdiger: Kroos and Luka Modric "irreplaceable"
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, Modric and Kroos are calm - why should we be nervous?" said Rüdiger, who considers Kroos and Croatian Luka Modric to be "irreplaceable".
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."