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SOCCER

Kroos: “Ancelotti doesn’t get the credit he deserves”

Toni Kroos spoke about Cristiano’s departure and Gareth Bale’s drop in form as well as what recent arrivals Vinicius and Rodrygo have brought to the team.

Update:
MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 20: Toni Kroos of Real Madrid  during the La Liga Santander  match between Real Madrid v Real Betis Sevilla at the Santiago Bernabeu on May 20, 2022 in Madrid Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates ImagesGetty

Toni Kroos gave an interview to German television channel ZDF in which he looked ahead to this weekend’s Champions League final against Liverpool and gave his thoughts on coach Carlo Ancelotti, who he feels often gets overlooked. He says the Italian doesn’t get the credit he deserves from the public for the great work he is doing at Real Madrid, with whom he could win his second Champions League.

Champions League Final: “You give everything in a Champions League final - and especially seeing as we had to give everything we had to get there. Now we in the final, we want to win the cup, while conscious that we will be up against a brilliant rival”.

European campaign: “We thought we were going out a few times - starting with the Last 16 tie against PSG and it was the same in the quarter final and semis. We always believe, but maybe others might have thought we were really going to be eliminated”.

Ancelotti: “He reminds me of [Jupp] Heynckes. It’s obvious that they are different kinds of coaches to Guardiola and Tüchel, for example, but it’s a shame that he gets labelled as just a good man manager. I think that doesn’t do him justice, and sounds as though he knows nothing about tactics. Maybe most of the time they opt for the least complicated route, but they are absolutely clear about how they want their teams to play, defend and attack. A lot of people don’t take that into consideration when they talk about them”.

Benzema: “It’s not easy to turn yourself into an even better player. He’s spent eight seasons playing in different roles - not in other positions, but in the functions he has had to perform. There have been moments when he has had to shoulder the burden and carry the team forward with his goals and other times when he only had to look to his left or his right. Cristiano scores 50 goals a season and to his right there was Gareth during his peak. We lost both of those pillars of the team. Then other players arrived like Vinicius and Rodrygo, who are coming on well, but we weren’t able to reproduce those 50 goals that Cristiano provided with just one player until Karim assumed his role to perfection”.

Liverpool: “To be honest, I think Liverpool are a much better side than the one we faced in 2018. They managed to keep their best players and signed a few more. Thiago sets the pace in midfield, they are strong at the back and I think that in terms of consistency, they were the best team in Europe this season. But the final is still only one game and we have to bear in mind that we knocked them out last season in the quarter finals. It’s 50:50”.

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