Toni Kroos opened up on the latest episode of his podcast, Einfach mal Luppen, where he discussed the impact Julen Lopetegui’s sacking from Real Madrid had on him on a personal level.
“Lopetegui’s dismissal was the one that hurt me the most on a personal level because he is a first-rate coach and person,” the German revealed. “He had a shitty moment when he was Madrid coach. I was very happy for him when he won the Europa League.”
Kroos went on to justify the poor results under Lopetegui and felt the Spaniard was simply unlucky. “Lopetegui deserved the Europa League. He did a great job, but he was unlucky at Madrid and if there are no results it is not a good time for the club. He came to a club that had just won 3 Champions Leagues in a row and then Cristiano left. It was clear that it was not going to be an easy year,” Kroos explained.
“Honestly, I was very sorry. It was the dismissal that I felt the most of all, because I was and continue to be, sure of Lopetegui’s ability as a coach and as a person. It left a bitter taste in my mouth. It was a story that marked me a lot as a player. Jessy (Kroos’ wife) kept asking at home, ‘ but hey, what’s up?’ And I told her that I was very sorry and that I would have kept Lopetegui because I was convinced of him,” Kroos concluded.
In hindsight, the Lopetegui sacking may seem a harsh one, even to those who were calling for his head at that time. Both Kroos and Carvajal have come out in the past and stated how highly they think of Lopetegui as a person and as a coach.