Mission accomplished. Thanks to their win over San Lorenzo in the final of the FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2014, Real Madrid picked up one of the few pieces of silverware not already in their packed trophy cabinet. One of the key men inLos Blancos’ success, Germany international Toni Kroos pulled the strings in midfield with aplomb, as well as supplying the corner for Sergio Ramos’ vital headed opener.
Fresh from clinching his second major global title of the year, having lifted the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ with his country in July, Kroos spoke exclusively to FIFA.com in Marrakech.
FIFA.com: Toni, how much does it mean to Real Madrid and to you to have won the FIFA Club World Cup?
Toni Kroos: It’s a fantastic title to round off the year. It’s not easy to get this far, because you have to win the Champions League first. I was fortunate enough to win this trophy last year with Bayern Munich and now I’ve won it again, which doesn’t happen often, so it’s a beautiful end to a sensational year.
Real Madrid have now put together an incredible run of 22 consecutive wins in competitive games. What has made the team so strong this season?
The level of motivation that we dig out for every new challenge. We’re thirsty for wins and silverware. I’m talking domestically too, as Madrid have gone a couple of seasons without winning La Liga and so we’re certainly aiming to finish top of the pile this time. Of course, it’s logical that we’ll lose a game at some point, but the most important thing is to keep working hard and not get carried away.
You only signed for Madrid six months ago but you look like you’ve been playing for them your whole life. Did you expect to settle so quickly?
To be honest I’m not totally surprised, as I’ve got a lot of belief in my own ability.
What do you see as your role within the team?
I’ve got my job to do, as have the other ten players who take the field with me. When I’m out on the pitch, I try to do everything that the coach wants from me as best as I possibly can. Given that I play in the middle of the park, as you’d expect I try to exert as much control over the game as I can. And up to now, things have been going wonderfully.
What are your goals for 2015? Madrid look well-placed to become the first team ever to win successive UEFA Champions League crowns…
We’re aiming to win every competition that we take part in but, at the same time, we’re aware of the difficulty involved. Atletico Madrid and Barcelona are our biggest rivals in La Liga and it’s more of the same in the Champions League, where you’ve also got the likes of Chelsea or Bayern. It’s going to be a very, very tough year but we’re excited about it too. We’re in a really rich vein of form right now and we’re going to try and stay on the same track. That said, it definitely won’t be easy.