Toni Kroos backtracks on ‘forbidden’ rule to claim ex-team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo’s long-time rival Lionel Messi as the ‘G.O.A.T’ – as midfielder insists Argentina’s talisman ‘deserves’ the accolade after World Cup triumph
Kroos, who played for many years with Cristiano Ronaldo in Spain, had previously suggested that the Portuguese star was the best to ever grace the football pitch.
But, after Lionel Messi‘s heroics against France on Sunday, the German midfielder has recently admitted that his opinion has now changed to favour the Argentine.
Lionel Messi ended his career-long wait to win the World Cup after victory over France
Toni Kroos (L) admitted he previously thought Cristiano Ronaldo (R) was the greatest of all time
According to the Mirror, Kroos had previously claimed: ‘From my playing days, it’s Cristiano Ronaldo (best player of all time). Of course, I’m biased because he made a decisive contribution to us winning a lot of titles.
‘It was exciting and impressive to play alongside Ronaldo. We were not only team-mates but also neighbours in the dressing room and neighbours in private.
‘He lived right next to me. Seeing what a perfectionist he is was impressive. That is why it is forbidden for me to name Messi (as the best player of all time).’
Kroos spent four years playing at the Santiago Bernabeu with Ronaldo before the five-time Ballon d’Or winner left Spain to join Italian giants Juventus in the summer of 2018.
Kroos spent four years playing with Ronaldo during their time together at Real Madrid
Despite his strong links with the Portuguese forward, Kroos has now seemingly changed his opinion after the recent World Cup final.
He admitted to MagentaTV: ‘He (Messi) deserves it. In terms of individual performances in a championship, I’ve never seen a footballer play as regularly as this guy.
‘You have to take into account that he has never played for clubs that I find very funny, something that proves that I mean it.’
PSG forward Lionel Messi ended his career-long wait to lift football’s most prestigious trophy after Sunday’s final saw Argentina emerge victorious against France after a 4-2 penalty shoot-out win.
Messi scored a brace in the World Cup final to help inspire his side to victory in Qatar
The 35-year-old scored a brace in the match – with a first-half penalty and extra-time effort – before slotting away his spot-kick in the shoot-out that followed.
A hat-trick from France’s Kylian Mbappe in the 3-3 draw proved futile as Messi and Argentina stormed to victory for the first time in the competition since 1986.
Meanwhile, his former team-mate Ronaldo crashed out of the competition in the quarter-finals after defeat to underdogs Morocco.
Cristiano Ronaldo was unable to prevent Portugal crashing out in the World Cup quarter-finals