Real Madrid Stars Go Wild for Ability of Timeless Toni Kroos

Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo were full of praise and admiration for the performance of Toni Kroos in Real Madrid's Champions League clash with Bayern Munich.
Kroos laid on Real Madrid's first goal for Vinicius Junior
Kroos laid on Real Madrid's first goal for Vinicius Junior / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images
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Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo couldn't hide their admiration for the ability of Toni Kroos after his defence splitting pass helped Real Madrid open the scoring against Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal clash.

The German's slide rule through ball took advantage of poor decision making from Bayern defender Kim Min-jae, allowing Vinicius to zip in behind and slide home the opening goal of an exhilarating contest at the Allianz Arena.

It was a moment of real quality from 34-year-old Kroos, who was once again tasked with pulling the strings in Madrid's midfield despite his advancing years.

Kroos' high performance level inevitably raised the question of whether or not Madrid will look to extend his contract beyond this summer, and it certainly appears that a longer stay would be welcomed by Vinicius and Rodrygo judging by their post-match comments.

"Toni always makes things easy," Vinicius told Movistar. "He gifted me a goal. We practice a lot together in training. I know Toni very well, and he knows me. I'm very happy to have scored two goals. Now we need a magic night at home."

In reply, Kroos told Real Madrid's official website of his two-goal teammate: “Players like him always give you the possibility to make passes. He's not only quick, he's also clever and knows how and when to move. He's done well and it's his quality to get into space. “It's difficult to stop him there.”

Kroos also drew praise from Rodrygo, who drew the foul that saw Vinicius level the tie at 2-2 from the penalty spot, as he remarked: "What a pass! Incredible, Age doesn't matter. [Kroos] has always got that skill, that class that I love to see."

14-time Champions League winners Madrid would now appear to have the upper hand heading into next week's second leg clash at the Santiago Bernabeu. But Carlo Ancelotti's side will know not to look past the Bavarian giants, who last lifted the trophy in 2020, especially as they fought back from being 1-0 down to take a 2-1 lead through Leroy Sane and Harry Kane.

"It's going to be a really special game," Kroos added of the upcoming Bernabeu duel. "It's going to be the most important match of the season."

Toby Cudworth