Less than a week after winning the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Toni Kroos made the biggest move of his soccer career.
Kroos, 24, joined Real Madrid from Bayern Munich on Thursday in a transfer reportedly worth around £20 million ($34.2 million), according to FIFA.com.
Kroos departed the 2013 UEFA Champions League winner to join the 2014 Champions League title holder.
Kroos is aware that he will be under pressure to maintain his high standard of performance, but he has no fear of the lofty expectations that his team and its fans have placed on him.
“I know that at this club you are expected to win trophies but I’m the right man for that because I’m used to winning,” Kroos said. “I like pressure, I have done ever since I started playing. In Bayern there is also only one option, to win. I’m here to win trophies and that’s what stimulates me. I’m going to do everything I can to make sure Madrid continues to have success.”
Kroos made his debut with Bayern Munich in 2007 and went on to become a certifiable star in Germany’s Bundesliga (first division) and in the European soccer scene. Kroos scored 23 goals in 173 Bundesliga games with Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen (where he spent 18 months on loan in 2008-09 and 2009-10) and won three Bundesliga titles and three DFB-Pokals (German Cups).
Bayern Munich failed to successfully defend its UEFA Champions League crown last season, but the German club won the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup as well as the domestic double with Kroos contributing from the midfield.
Kroos was entering the final year of his contract with Bayern Munich and was unable to reach an agreement on a new deal. Bayern Munich decided to sell Kroos, rather than risk losing him as a free agent next summer. Kroos had been linked with Manchester United during the 2013-14 season, but Real Madrid won the race for the German star.