Champions League: Statements from England leave Kroos cold before the giant duel

Before the semi-finals of the Champions League against Manchester City, Toni Kroos from defending champion Real Madrid is not disturbed by derogatory statements from England.

Champions League: Statements from England leave Kroos cold before the giant duel

Before the semi-finals of the Champions League against Manchester City, Toni Kroos from defending champion Real Madrid is not disturbed by derogatory statements from England.

"A year ago there were similar words," said the German midfielder in Madrid, recalling last season's semi-final win over Man City and the subsequent triumph in the final. "Last year nobody expected us to win. And we still did," added the 2014 World Cup winner before the first leg at Madrid's Santiago Bernabéu.

Kroos referred, among other things, to statements by Wayne Rooney. England's ex-international had claimed that coach Pep Guardiola's team would not only eliminate Real in the semi-finals, but "destroy them". Such words would not affect the attitude of the Madrilenians, said Kroos, who now almost always answers in Spanish in Spain. "They didn't give us any extra motivation either, because you can't be more motivated than we are."

"I trust our experience"

The German, who worked for FC Bayern for a year under the current city coach Pep Guardiola before moving to Real in the summer of 2014, emphasized that you can see the handwriting of the Spanish coach in the semi-final opponent. "Pep's teams always play his football. Whether it's at Barça, at Bayern or now, you can always see that it's a Pep team." Erling Haaland was also well integrated into the team.

"When you play against a team that scores three or four goals every game, you obviously have to know how to defend," said the 33-year-old with a smile. But you also have to "attack and score goals". The midfield director, whose contract extension at Real is a foregone conclusion, is optimistic about the semi-finals: "I trust our experience."

Real Madrid aim to win their 15th Champions League title this season. It would be Kroos' sixth premier class triumph overall and fifth with the club from the Spanish capital. Once he also won the title with FC Bayern.

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