• La Liga

Toni Kroos: Ronaldo’s Real Madrid exit made everyone ‘happy’

Getty Images

Toni Kroos reckons Cristiano Ronaldo’s big-money move from Real Madrid to Juventus last summer “made everyone happy”.

Ronaldo stunned the football world last summer by calling time on a goal and trophy-laden nine years at Real in favour of a €112m transfer to Juventus.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner had won everything in Spain and fancied a fresh challenge elsewhere. However, it didn’t take him long to adapt to Italian football after leading Juventus to Serie A glory and winning the competition’s player of the year prize.

Real, on the other hand, suffered immensely without their record scorer banging in the goals for them. They eventually ended a terrible campaign in a distant third-place La Liga finish, while failing to win either the Champions League or Copa del Rey.

For Kroos, though, Los Blancos’ post-Ronaldo struggles were expected anyway. But the Germany international also reckons his old team-mate’s exit was mutually beneficial for everyone.

“It would be strange if you didn’t miss someone like Cristiano Ronaldo, who has decided so many matches with his goals,” Kroos told Bild.

“His transfer, however, made everyone happy. He wanted a new experience and Real Madrid earned a lot of money.”

The 29-year-old midfielder also announced plans to retire from football within the next four years. Ideally, Kroos hopes to finish his career off at the Santiago Bernabeu, where the new contract he signed in May will expire in June 2023.

“When I am aged 33, that would be a good age to retire,” said Kroos

“My contract duration was chosen consciously. At 33, that would be a good age to hang up the boots. I will have the opportunity at that moment to choose if I want to do something after that.”

The 2014 World Cup winner added: “Signing for Real Madrid is the best thing I could have done, I will never play in the United States, China or Qatar.”

Kroos has managed 13 goals and 59 assists in 233 appearances for Real since completing a €30m move from Bayern Munich in 2014.

MADRID, SPAIN – MARCH 02: Toni Kroos of Real Madrid CF runs with the ball during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on March 02, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)