Toni Kroos has admitted it will be hard for Real Madrid to reach the same levels of success that were achieved in Zinedine Zidane's first spell at the club the second time around.
Zidane left Real at the end of the 2017/18 season before Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari both endured horrific spells at the Bernabeu the following campaign, and Germany international Kroos says the side has changed a lot in the ten months the Frenchman was away.
Speaking to Kicker as quoted by Marca, the 29-year-old claimed it would be unfair to compare the current Madrid side to the outfit that won three consecutive Champions League titles.
He said: "It is not easy to take the team back to where Zidane left it, it is difficult to reach that level.
"Our team was in a different situation when Zidane returned in mid-March of 2019 compared to when he left the team in May 2018."
Kroos, who has won 11 trophies with Los Blancos, then outlined how he would go about returning the European giants to their former glory.
"We want to play better football, and more consistently," he added. "If you play better, you'll be in the fight for the titles."
Evidently the 2014 World Cup winner feels the squad is a long way off replicating the quality of performances that saw them become the first club to win three consecutive Champions Leagues.
However, it's not all doom and gloom for Kroos as he referenced the silver lining that is the signing of Luka Jovic. The 21-year-old joined from Eintracht Frankfurt for £54m and has impressed his new team mate.
Kroos said: "He has integrated well. But he had bad luck with the injury. Jovic is an option who will make us stronger with what he is best at: scoring goals."