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Cristiano Ronaldo is raring to go in Real Madrid’s Champions League opener against APOEL, according to Zinedine Zidane.

Toni Kroos has been the “steal of the century” for Real Madrid, according to the player’s agent.

Kroos, 27, joined Madrid from Bayern Munich for a transfer fee of €25 million in 2014, just days after winning the World Cup with Germany, and has since gone on to win two Champions Leagues, one La Liga title, two FIFA Club World Cups, two UEFA Super Cups and the Spanish Super Cup at the Bernabeu.

“Looking at the transfer fees these days, and then remembering that Toni was transferred for €25m, you could argue that Kroos is the steal of the century for Real,” Volker Struth told Sport Bild.

“Those in charge at Real only told us after the Champions League final in Cardiff [in June] that they are still delighted to have won over such a player for them. Only to put things into perspective — James Rodriguez back then also joined Real Madrid for €80m [and is now on loan at Bayern].”


Toni Kroos joined Real Madrid from Bayern Munich in 2014.

Struth also discussed the events leading towards Kroos’ Bayern exit.

“We could not reach an agreement with Bayern in late 2013,” he said. “Toni only got better under [then-Bayern coach Pep] Guardiola, he was — not only for me — the best player at the [2014] World Cup in Brazil, and then had offers from top clubs. It’s a normal process. Toni was not happy with what Bayern offered, and thus talks were put on ice.”

During his time at Bayern, Kroos won the Champions League, three Bundesliga titles, three German Cups, the FIFA Club World Cup, UEFA Super Cup and German Super Cup.

Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.


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