Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane was full of praise for stalwart midfielder Toni Kroos last week, dedicating a full interview with Real France to the subject of the German midfielder, whom he has coached during two separate spells since 2016.
“He will be remembered as a spectacular player, one of the best in the world in his position,” Zidane told Real France, as reported by TyC. “When I arrived, well, you can imagine, I was really happy to be his coach.
“It’s true, when I retire I will be able to say that I trained Cristiano [Ronaldo], [Gareth] Bale, [Luka] Modric, [Sergio] Ramos. But I will also say I coached Toni Kroos. It is impressive to see him train every day. How professional [he is]. Talking about him is talking about someone extraordinary.”
Kroos on Zidane
Now, Kroos has returned the compliments in a wide-ranging interview back in his native Germany, which included the French coach, Lionel Messi and recalling his move to Real Madrid back in 2014.
“It helps that he was a great player himself. He knows exactly what motivates us and what it is to be a Real Madrid player, and applies this knowledge in an excellent way,” said Kroos of Zidane.
“He’s also incredibly good at managing this group of stars. He knows all the players, unites them to the group and has everything around the team under control. He is also very good technically. He is the best coach I could ask for.”
Madrid wouldn’t have wanted Messi
Zidane will be remembered as one of the greatest players of all time alongside Lionel Messi, who was close to leaving Barcelona last week until the club finally blocked his move — as the Barca star revealed in a candid interview.
Kroos also discussed the hypothetical arrival of Messi at Santiago Bernabéu. When asked if Madrid would want the Argentine star, Kroos responded laughingly: “I don’t think so. I don’t think he’s willing to come. But the feeling is probably mutual, since he does not want to come to Madrid. That’s why I think it couldn’t happen.”
Kroos on his arrival at Real Madrid
Speaking about his arrival in Madrid back in 2014, soon after having won the World Cup, Kroos revealed that he had never imagined himself leaving his native Germany.
“But we couldn’t come to an agreement with Bayern in 2014, and then Real came along,” he recalled.
“I was lucky to arrive at Madrid as the recent world champion. So my team mates knew that I wasn’t a loser. But the fact of having been here for six years and having won the Champions League three times in a row was more than I expected.”