Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos believes the Champions League ‘unleashes special powers’ within their team as they aim for a third straight trophy.
The German international is aiming for a fourth title in the competition since his move to the Spanish capital from Bayern Munich, whom he faces in this season’s semi-final, in 2013.
“This competition is the hardest to win,” Kroos told UEFA.com.
“Maybe that unleashes special powers in us. Emotions always play a part, especially on Champions League nights at the Bernabeu.
“You can see that in our performances. A lot of the players have played in plenty of big games and we can stay calm in difficult situations because we know we can beat everybody.
“Even when we are not winning, we can change a game. We've experienced lots of situations, so we don't get anxious. Retaining the trophy [in 2017] was special because no team had ever managed to win it twice in a row, and it will be difficult for any team to repeat that.
“I don't think anyone expected that before the start of the season.
“Of course it's special when you play against a team you represented for six or seven years, I'll see a lot of players I used to play with, or who I still play with in the national team I played under Jupp Heynckes myself for a long time and I know he's a top coach.
“When he came back, he changed the feeling of the whole team. Since he arrived, they've played much better so I think they're harder to beat than last year, but we'll see.
“I was there last season in the quarter-finals, when we managed to get through, and now we'll see what happens this year.”