Kroos: "We want to get on the ball and defend well to get a good result"

"For me, the Champions League starts now, these are kinds of games we enjoy", added the German.
Toni Kroos took to the media room at the Estadi de Bergamo on the eve of the clash against Atalanta (9pm CET) and the midfielder previewed the game in the following terms: “We want to get on the ball and have greater control of the game, but we need to adapt and try to play our game. We’re now in the last 16, are playing away from home and know it’ll be tough, but we're going to try and go out and play our game. It's like a cup final for us. For me, the Champions League starts now, these are the kinds of game we enjoy”.

“We know it'll be tough, not just because of our absentees, Atalanta are a very good side who play good football and are strong in attack. It's important that we counter their game because I'm certain that offensively we’ll be capable of doing something, but we'll also have to defend well if we're to get a good result. Whenever we're missing important players we always have to work together, as we have been doing of late, and all step up to the plate to perform and that's what we've seen in the last few LaLiga games”.
 
Leaders within the side
“How I see myself within the team isn't that important. I just do my job, as I always do. I always try to give my opinion, both on and off the pitch, and play my game, both with and without the ball. Many of my teammates help me, including the likes of Sergio and Luca. I've been playing alongside them for many years and that helps, but my job doesn't change all that much because of the absentees. I always try to give my best for the team”.
 
Middle third
“We’re on a good run and, in my opinion, many games are won and lost in the middle third. In these games every position will be really important. If we stick together in the middle and control the game it’ll help to give the team a chance of winning”.

Injury issues
“I don't think I'm the one to be asking, I hardly ever get injured. I can't tell you anything because I don't spend time with the injured players, I don't know what they're doing within their recoveries and I don't know their bodies. I don't know whether or not it's because they’ve played so many games or if it's down to bad luck... all I can do is look after my body, although even then you can have bad luck. It's really annoying that they’re injured, but those who are here are motivated and have a great deal of quality”.

The middle third is key to a team's success.

“The middle third is really important in games and that's what we've seen of late. It doesn't always go our way and no midfield can constantly control games. We've been together for many years now and we want to keep going. For me, it's the key to a team’s success. Our idea in the middle third isn't to be the best, it's to help the forwards and the defenders. We play to achieve success and not to be the best. That's the result of performing well, we always give our all the win”.

Inter compared to Atalanta
“They’re different opponents. After the first game against Inter, we knew what we had to do against them. As for Atalanta, we've never come up against them before, we're going to prepare as best we can. We’ll be able to prepare with videos, but this is something new for us. One thing’s for sure and that’s that it's going to be really tough”.

Champions League mentality
“I love my club and want the best for it. As a player, I think about what I could achieve within the world of sport. I want to be successful as a player and if I can help the club along the way, all the better”.

Spanish football
“Things can change each year, and some years are better than others. Many Spanish teams have won the Champions League and the Europa League. It’s perfectly normal for the teams that have won a lot to then go on to struggle. It’s not a case of them being worse than the English or German teams. All of us battle to win trophies each year and, in general, the standard is very good in Spain. I've seen that this year in the games and how difficult it is to win LaLiga matches. Four years ago, we would win games 5-0 and that hardly ever happens now”.

Halaand or Mbappé
“They're both very good players and could help any team. That’s perfectly normal given the quality they’ve got. They won't be helping me tomorrow, so it's not for me to talk about. We’re just focused on the game”.

Last minute of the game. Who  would you want to get on the end of your free-kick, Mbappé or Haaland?
“Benzema".