Madrid, April 10 (IANS) Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos has asserted that the upcoming quarterfinal clash against German football giants Bayern Munich may decide the future winners of this year’s Champions League.
Real are scheduled to take on Bayern in what is expected to be a high-voltage encounter at the Allianz Arena in Munich on Wednesday and then six days later at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium here.
Kroos, who represented Bayern from 2007-2014, asserted that the two-legged home quarter-final tie against the reigning German champions will be like a final.
The 27-year-old said that he was looking forward to taking on many of his friends and former teammates. Kroos came through the Bayern ranks, playing 130 Bundesliga games for the club.
“I know the players there better than anyone and it will be a special tie, but I don’t have any other big feelings towards it. I always keep up with how Bayern are doing. There are still many of the same players there. We are all looking forward to these games — both my friends at Bayern Munich and I,” the Germany international told the official Real Madrid website.
“They will be two fantastic games. This tie could easily be the Champions League final.”
Kroos asserted that the players of both teams will be under immense pressure and was confident that his will to win will enable him to perform well despite the pressure cooker situation.
“At Bayern, you have the same pressure, they expect you to win every game and competition that you’re in. And this is the same as Madrid. Every time something goes wrong, perhaps due to other teams being at a better level, there is more commotion here than in Munich,” the 27-year-old said.
“You see people are closer to the team and more concerned with what you are doing. My attitude is the same as that of the club, because I want to win everything. And this desire is stronger than the pressure a player puts himself under. This has always worked through the years as I have been able to win titles along the way,” he added.
Bayern’s veteran star Arjen Robben meanwhile urged his team to be confident ahead of the tie.
“It is difficult, they are one of the best teams in the world, with world-class players,” the Dutch winger told AS.
“It will be important to start the game confidently and with passion on the pitch, and try and impose our own style of play. It is about going out to win the game from the first moment. We have reasons to be confident, although at the same time we must be humble. We need to begin the game with passion, aggression and show that we want to win from the first moment.”
Bayern thrashed domestic rivals Borussia Dortmund 4-1 in the German league which Robben felt was the ideal preparation leading up to the Real tie.
“We have just beaten a big opponent (in Dortmund) which of course gives us confidence,” he said.
“We created many chances and enjoyed ourselves on the pitch. I feel that we are ready for Madrid.”