Toni Kroos took a few moments out to chat to Augsburger Allgemeine magazine before the Germany squad set off for Russia for the World Cup finals. The midflelder gave his thoughts on the season just gone, his moment of form and also defended Real Madrid team mate Sergio Ramos who has come under fire for his combative style out on the field of play.
Germany, as good as, or better than 2014 side in Brazil
Germany's chances in Russia: “I think as a team, we have a good mix. But I think we have to build on the idea of being a team that is very, very difficult to beat. That's a side of our game we need to develop further. It goes without saying that players like Schweinsteiger, Lahm and Klose were cornerstones for the national team. I think that in terms of quality, we are on a par with the Germany side from 2014, maybe even a little better. We only need to convert ourselves into a solid unit on the pitch. We need to defend as a team, and make our opponents feel uncomfortable. There's still margin for us to improve. When we are on the ball we are a better side that the team which was at the last World Cup. If we can improve our game when we don't have the ball then I think we'll be in with a good chance in Russia”.
Fitness and fatigue: “I need a few days to get back into peak shape, I have to admit. We've had a very successful season with the club so it's normal to suffer a dip. After a few days, I'll be able to get myself together to start all over again. But it's something I can handle".
No ulterior motive from Ramos to harm Salah, says Kroos
Mohamed Salah's shoulder injury and Sergio Ramos: “I'm sure that there was no deliberate intention to injury him. The ref didn't even blow for a foul. Ramos isn't an aggressive player. He has shown many times in the past that he isn't. I'm really glad that he's our captain; I didn't see anything that could be classed as anti-sporting behaviour".