Kroos: No extra motivation needed for Clasico

Sporting News

Toni Kroos and Real Madrid are world champions once again after the club took a 1-0 win over Gremio in the Club World Cup final, but the club will have little time to celebrate.

A Clasico clash with Barcelona looms in less than a week, and Los Blancos can't afford a loss to their bitter rivals, who have already opened up an eight-point gap on Madrid in the league table.

While the German midfielder was pleased to have another title on his resume, he claimed the win over the South American champions would add little for his side ahead of their crucial La Liga clash.

"For this game [against Barcelona] you don’t need anything special before or any motivation or anything," he told reporters. "It’s better to go with a good feeling back to Madrid but this game is special whatever happens before."

Cristiano Ronaldo was crucial to Madrid's triumph in Abu Dhabi, scoring the game's only goal after also netting in the semi-final to help his club reach the title game.

And Kroos believes Ronaldo's greatness now goes without saying.

"We know if he is on the pitch he tries to help us," the German said.

"He tries to score and he did it again in both matches. We don’t need to speak about how important he is to us."

While the Clasico will take all the headlines over the next week, Real Madrid have also picked up a tricky draw in the Champions League round of 16, with Neymar and Paris Saint-Germain on tap for the defending champions.

The matchup pits two of the top sides in Europe against each other, but Kroos is looking forward to the challenge of facing Ligue 1's top team.

"The experience from the last year is that you have to beat the best to win this competition," he said.

"We did last year. We beat Bayern, we beat Atletico Madrid. We played Juventus, they put out Barcelona before.


MORE:
Ronaldo and Zidane hoping for Ballon d'Or winner to retire at Madrid
| In-form Neymar is good for all who love football – Emery
| Five titles in 2017 for Madrid but beating Barcelona key to a Happy Christmas
| Zidane dreaming of sextuple after Real Madrid's Club World Cup success

"You need to beat the best and it’s a great challenge and I like that."