MADRID – Real Madrid’s international German midfielder Toni Kroos spoke on Monday about his role on the team, managed by Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti, a starkly different position that those with his former teams, Bayern Munich and the German national team, and he explained that it is almost of “secondary importance” to get to the rivals penalty area.
“At the end of the day the important thing is that you’re able to work well with the team. We tend to play with three central midfielders and at the moment I have the more defensive role, and have done so since the beginning of the season. I very much enjoy playing there,” Kroos said in an interview published by the official FIFA website.
“Of course the coach sets out certain demands for playing in that position, but those coincide with my own interpretation of how to play there. So in that regard I’m delighted with how things are going,” the German midfielder added.
In this context, Kroos expressed that he believes in giving priority to the team’s interests over individual ones, as he stated, “In Madrid it’s important that we have the right balance,” as the team has an offensive tendency on the field.
Kroos added “Normally we have a lot of very attack-minded players on the field, so for me it’s almost of secondary importance to get forward. Instead, I focus on how the game is going in the middle of the park and that we’re well positioned.”
After half a season with Real Madrid, Kroos is still surprised by the impact he makes in every game, and the admiration he receives from every corner of the world, which he chalks up to a reflection of the greatness of Real Madrid.
Kroos added, “That is something that only dawns on you when you travel with the club. Wherever you go, people are always beside themselves to see you.”
“We were in Dubai recently and that’s the kind of place where you think you’re going a long way away. But once we got there I had the feeling that the people there are even crazier, so to speak, than they are in Madrid and in Spain. That says it all. The club has won an unbelievable number of trophies and still has a top-quality team with top-class players,” Kroos stated.
“I think that alone is what makes Real Madrid so interesting,” he said.
Concerning his new life in Madrid, the player explained that adapting in the beginning was difficult due to differences in “mentality” in Madrid as compared to Munich, where he used to live.
“I think I’m a pretty good dad (smiles). That’s also the most important thing!” Kroos joked when asked about something he excels at away from the soccer field.