Toni Kroos has four Champions League titles to his name. The German has won three on the bounce with Real Madrid, in 2016, 2017 and 2018, and one with Bayern Munich in 2013. But the midfielder could have, note Marca, won five, given he lost the 2012 final against the very club he’ll face in tonight’s semi-final second leg, Chelsea.
That Bayern team were strong. They’d recovered from their final defeat in 2010 to Inter and their last 16 exit the following season, and had eliminated Madrid in the semi-final. The final, played at their very own Allianz Arena in Bavaria, was highly anticipated. Thomas Muller gave Bayern the lead only for Didier Drogba to equalise late on and take the tie to extra-time, with Chelsea eventually winning on penalties.
“I suffered a lot with that defeat,” Kroos reflected ahead of tonight’s game, an opportunity for him to extract revenge. “I had a very bad time, but before winning you have to have a bad time. The most important thing is the quality we’re going to put [into our play in the game]. We know it’s not been a comfortable season, but we’ve overcome many things. We’re in May and we can win these two competitions. We’re tired, but that’s normal.”
Madrid drew the first leg with Chelsea 1-1 at Valdebebas, with Karim Benzema equalising after Christian Pulisic gave the Londoners the lead. Chelsea may have that all-important away goal, but Madrid can call upon Sergio Ramos, who’s fit to feature, and Eden Hazard, who started against Osasuna at the weekend. Kroos himself, and Luka Modric, were rested for that game, a 2-0 win, and should be full of beans tonight.