Kroos opens up on Madrid’s failed Mbappe move, Zidane’s key advice & how he still cleans his own boots
kroos opens up on Madrid’s failed Mbappe move, Zidane’s key advice & how he still cleans his own boots
The German midfielder has reiterated his stance on the possible arrival of the Frenchman, who has been at the top of the Spanish club’s wish list
Toni Kroos has reiterated that he would welcome the arrival of Kylian Mbappe at Real Madrid and has also opened up on the key advice Zinedine Zidane gave him.
Kroos discussed a variety of different topics to Goal as he launches his new Toni Kroos Academy, which has been designed to provide online training to the next generation of budding young players from across the world.
In addition to discussing Paris Saint-Germain star Mbappe, the 31-year-old also expressed how he still has plenty to offer at the highest level and how, despite his status as a world-class performer, he still cleans his own boots.
As reported by Goal, Real tabled three offers for Mbappe during the summer – the final bid totalling €220 million (£189m/$260m) – although PSG refused to sell.
The Liga giants have been tipped to return for the 22-year-old in January, at which point he will be free to sign a pre-contract agreement with the club if he decides against extending his current deal at Parc des Princes.
Kroos still welcomes the prospect of Mbappe’s arrival at the Bernabeu, but insists that the Blancos will move forward towards a brighter future regardless of whether a final deal comes to fruition.
“In the summer I already said that I would like a player like him to come, but if he doesn’t we have a good team,” he told Goal .
“Let’s see what happens in the future, it is difficult for me to say because I am not the one who decides. His quality has not changed, he is a good player and what we know is that Madrid wanted to sign him but in the end they didn’t succeed.
“Everything continues, also without Mbappe here. I think we are doing well and for the future my opinion has not changed: the best players have to be at Madrid and he is sure to be one of them.”
Kroos on Zidane and Ancelotti
Kroos also discussed how Zidane reassured him that he still has plenty of time left at the highest level of the game after he returned to Real for a second spell as head coach in March 2019.
“I remember something that Zizou told me two years ago, when I was 29 and we had already won three Champions Leagues together. He said that, from his experience as a player, the best time is from 30 or 31 and that the best was coming,” the former Germany international added.
“Let’s see if my career is like that too. I think that at 31 I can still play really well.”
Zidane ended up stepping down from his post at the end of an unsuccessful 2020-21 campaign, with Ancelotti drafted in as his replacement.
The Italian also previously worked at Real between 2013 and 2015, with Kroos one of several major signings he was able to secure during that time.
Asked if Ancelotti’s methods have changed at all since then, the midfielder said: “I had a very good relationship with him in 2014. I haven’t played many games with him so far (following his return as manager) so I can’t say exactly [if Ancelotti has changed a lot] because I haven’t had many talks with him yet.
“It’s a bit difficult [to comment] for this reason. Yes, there is a difference but I can say that our relationship is still very good.”
Kroos’ ‘special’ boots routine
Kroos has worn Adidas 11pro football boots ever since their original release in 2013, and claims to be the only player in the Real squad that takes care of cleaning their own footwear.
“It really is a bit special, I have not seen another player at Real Madrid who cleans his boots every day and prepares like that” he said.
“With mine, I am a bit special because it is the most important thing for me on the field, I think for me more than for other players. I just feel comfortable with those boots, I don’t know why, I think because of the material and the colour.
“Nowadays, every one or two months they change the colour, the material… For many players it is not a problem, they give them new boots and they play with them the next day. I am a little different, I have to feel very, very comfortable.
“Seven or eight years ago I started with these boots, which are perfect for me: they are white, I like white, the material is perfect, and I don’t want any others. Green, red… those type of boots are not my favourites. I want these and thanks to Adidas, who still do it for me exclusively, I feel very comfortable.
“I take good care of them, I prepare them before training, I clean them afterwards so that they are ready for the next day. I have not seen another player do it.”
The Toni Kroos Academy
Kroos also explained how his online academy originated from the #ToniKroosChallenge that went viral during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The idea started during the pandemic,” he explained. “I was looking for something that all the children in the world who could not go to play soccer could do, to give them a little happiness. I thought it was easier [to reach out to them] online, because they spend many hours at home.
“Since everyone is very active on social media, I proposed an exercise for them to do on there. When I saw all the videos, more than 1,000, I couldn’t see all of them, it was incredible. This has been the basis of this project, to think about what else I could do.
“If you offer it in English, Spanish and German you reach the whole world. I wanted to do something a little more professional to really help them in matches and to improve them in games. I really believe that if you follow it and train well, it makes you a better player.”