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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Kroos: "PSG is the toughest side Real Madrid could have drawn"

Real Madrid could have been drawn against Champions League holders Chelsea, but Toni Kroos insisted Paris Saint-Germain present a tougher challenge.

Update:
Kroos: "PSG is the toughest side Real Madrid could have drawn"
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Toni Kroos believes Real Madrid were dealt the short straw in Monday Champions League last-16 draw but nevertheless insists he is looking forward to taking on Paris Saint-Germain in the next round.

Draw reperformed in Nyon

Madrid were initially paired with Benfica on Monday, but a technical glitch forced a re-draw and the LaLiga leaders will now face Ligue 1 pacesetters PSG over two legs in February and March. Record 13-time European champions Madrid finished top of Group D and could have faced either Benfica, PSG, Sporting Clube, Salzburg or Chelsea.

But while the Spanish giants dodged a meeting with reigning champions Chelsea, Kroos feels his side will face an even tougher opponent in PSG, who boast the likes of Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé, Neymar and Madrid legend Sergio Ramos in their ranks.

"We have a very interesting opponent for the next round," he said in a video posted on his Instagram page. "I think they are the toughest opponent of the five that could touch us. They are the games for which we play. We look for these games, with a lot of quality on the field. Let's see what will happen – at the end of the day we are Madrid."

Previous meetings

Madrid eliminated PSG the last time the sides met over two legs in the competition in the 2017-18 last 16, but the Parisians prevailed in their only two other previous knockout-round ties in European competition (in 1992-92 and 1993-94). Madrid have lost just one of their six Champions League encounters with PSG overall, meanwhile, when going down 0-3 at the Parc des Princes in the group stage three seasons ago.

And with his side flying high at the top of the Spanish top flight, Kroos is in positive spirits ahead of his side's blockbuster showdown with Mauricio Pochettino's men. "We always look forward to this type of game and we are very confident about reaching the quarter-finals," he said. "We are doing very well. Our focus right now is on the league and there are many games left before the Champions League. The most important thing now is to continue as we are doing in the next games before Christmas, to continue scoring points that bring us closer to the goal of winning LaLiga at the end of the season. This is the most important thing and we have to concentrate on that and then the Champions League, but only when the time comes."

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