Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos has spoken of the hurt he felt when the club decided to dismiss Julen Lopetegui in the 2018/19 campaign.
Lopetegui was appointed at Los Blancos in the summer of 2018 to replace Zinedine Zidane but he lasted just 14 matches in charge of the club – winning just six games and losing the same volume.
A 5-1 El Clasico defeat against Barcelona at the Camp Nou sealed the fate of Lopetegui, who was dismissed from his position in October.
Kroos has now spoken of his admiration of the former Spanish national team boss and believes he was just going through a “crappy moment” at the Santiago Bernabeu and expressed regret of how the current Sevilla boss was dismissed so early during his tenure in the Spanish capital.
The German international midfielder told the podcast Einfach mal Luppen, in quotes carried by Marca: “Lopetegui’s dismissal was the one that hurt me the most on a personal level because he is a first-rate coach and person. He only had a crappy moment when he was Madrid coach.
“I was very happy for him when he won the Europa League with Sevilla – he deserved it.
“He came to the club (Madrid) just in the year after the three Champions League titles and after Cristiano Ronaldo left. It was clear that it was not going to be an easy year.
“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 his 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.”
Kroos has been a regular in Madrid’s first-team since signing from Bayern Munich in the summer of 2014, and has won three Champions League titles with the club.