Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos gave a brutally honest assessment of his team's performance against Ajax in the Champions League on Tuesday night, admitting that every player failed to reach their best in the humiliating 4-1 demolition at the Bernabeu.
Real held a 2-1 aggregate advantage after winning the first leg in Amsterdam last month, but nobody in white was banking on Ajax playing as well as they did.
The defeat at the hands of Ajax was just the latest setback in what has been a tremendously disappointing season for Real, whose historic streak of three consecutive Champions League titles is now at an end, with the Ajax game also a fourth straight home defeat in all competitions.
"To a man, we've failed to reach our best level [and] I'm the first to admit that," said the three-time Champions League winner, as quoted by Marca.
"It's normal for you to have a bad year. What's not normal is what we've done over the course of the past three years," the 2014 World Cup winner added.
"We also suffered last year and had some good games this year.
"We're disappointed, but I think Ajax were the best team. They were also better in the first leg. It's difficult, but we have to accept the fact that they deserve to be in the quarter-final."
Real had to play the game without captain and talisman Sergio Ramos, who was suspended after a yellow card in the first leg, with UEFA later deeming the booking to be deliberate and adding on another match to his ban.
In the last seven days, Real have been knocked out of the Copa del Rey and fallen 12 points behind Barcelona in La Liga, and have now exited Europe as well.