Bayern Munich had a delightful Saturday as they beat Real Madrid in the second game of this year’s International Champions Cup. Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos said that he’s impressed by his former club and gave his thoughts on the current squad of Bayern, while speaking to Bild after the match.
His remarks contrast with the negative memories of Bayern that characterized his previous recent statements. Almost a month ago, the Madridista opened up about feeling undervalued at the club. In his most recent comment about Bayern, however, Kroos said,
I have really high respect for Bayern.
Kroos was asked to share his thoughts on Bayern's Champions League Campaign. He is totally convinced that Bayern has the potential to go a long way and even win the tournament this time. Asked about Bayern’s chances, he said,
Definitely. Yes. They were always there. Also in the past few years when we played directly against one another. Three years ago, it was in the quarterfinals; I felt we deservedly advanced. But it was really close, after extra time at home for us. Two years ago in the semifinal, Bayern was actually the better team, was very close to the final. And that means that you’re really good.
Bayern always had a problem with injuries and that's what affected them the most in several of their previous champions league campaigns. No matter how many first-string players a team has, in many occasions, as the season progresses, some of them will be out of the squad with injuries, and it will be hard to perfectly replace them. Kroos said:
I think that Bayern has a top first team even now — twelve, thirteen, fourteen top players. But of course it can happen that three or for players break away over the course of a season. And then the question is: how good are you still? I see Bayern always out in front when they play to their level. You just need a deep squad. Or even no injuries. But that is just seldom the case.
Kroos recalled playing against the Bavarians in the Champions League knockouts and seeing them struggle with injured players every single time:
The question is: in what condition do you reach the knockout games in March, April, May? Injury questions are always very important then. We we played against Bayern in the last two or three years, I remember that they were always missing one, two, or three injured players.
Last but not the least: the most discussed topic regarding Bayern these recent months - TRANSFERS! Kroos believes that Bayern will do just fine because of the quality and size of the squad, even if they make only one or two transfers:
They will build a roster that is equal to their ambitions. And they [are determined] to be [Bundesliga] champion and the Pokal-winner and to stay in the Champions League as long as possible. I can imagine that they make one or two more transfers. Not at all only because of quality, but rather because of the size of the squad. But it’s still early in the transfer window.
After the face off, Kroos was greeted by old boss Karl-Heinz Rummenigge with a tap on the shoulder and a smile before leaving the stadium.