German international Toni Kroos has settled in quickly at Real Madrid after completing his summer move from Bayern Munich.
In an interview with UEFA.com, the versatile midfielder discussed his new life in Spain, working alongside manager Carlo Ancelotti and his goal to win another Champions League title – this time for Real Madrid.
“It has been a good start for me,” Kroos told UEFA.com. “I have been here a while now, so [my start] is in the past. It’s gone well from the off.”
“For the time being, we are first in our league and still in the race for the Champions League, and I hope we will be successful. As far as I am concerned, I hope to contribute to that success.
Since arriving in Spain, Kroos has been handed most of Real Madrid’s defensive responsibilities in the center of the pitch. While still adjusting to his La Liga opponents, the versatile midfielder has flourished in the new role and is happy Ancelotti has entrusted him with his confidence.
“He trusted me from the beginning in a position where I hadn’t played that much, which was nonetheless in midfield,” Kroos added.
“I enjoy playing in this position. Our relationship is good. We communicate a lot before each game. We discuss how I have to approach each game according to the opponent we’re facing. I still don’t know every team that well, which is normal. But he tries to fill in the gaps.”
“Playing in midfield is difficult nowadays – you have to be versatile, be good on and off the ball. You have to defend well, build up the attack and be good at winning individual battles. These positions are hard to master, and I’m trying to integrate all that into my game, I’m trying to get rid of my weaknesses. I know I can make further progress. I think I am on the right track.”
The former Bayern Munich midfielder reportedly had a rocky relationship with manager Pep Guardiola. Last season, questions were raised about the German international’s happiness after a handful of displays following Guardiola’s decision to remove the midfielder from matches.
Regardless, Kroos admitted Carlo Ancelotti was one of the reasons he decided to join Real Madrid, and thus far, he has flourished under the Italian manager’s leadership.
“[Ancelotti] also one of the reasons I came here – I think it’s normal to talk with the coach before taking that step,” Kroos said. “He gave me a positive impression and told me Madrid would be even stronger with me in their ranks. It was obviously a good conversation.”
While comfortable with his start at Madrid, Kroos closed the interview by stating his goal now is to repeat his Champions League success with his new club.
“The greatest challenge is to show what you can do season in season out in the Champions League,” Kroos concluded. “Of course the highlight of my career at this level was winning the tournament with Bayern, and I will try to repeat that success with Madrid.”
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