Kroos says Benzema 'didn't know Al-Ittihad two weeks ago', excited about Bellingham

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Kroos says Benzema 'didn't know Al-Ittihad two weeks ago', excited about Bellingham
Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema during their last Real Madrid fixture together
Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema during their last Real Madrid fixture together
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Real Madrid veteran Toni Kroos (33) is already looking forward to meeting future team-mate Jude Bellingham (19), two months before the start of the new season.

"For his age, he is very advanced - a top player that many teams wanted," Kroos told podcast Einfach mal Luppen.

"If Real Madrid put down that much money, and I have a lot of confidence in that, it's a very good transfer."

In the extended interview with the German podcast, Kroos also made some eyebrow-raising comments about Karim Benzema, who recently signed for Saudi club Al-Ittihad, and Eden Hazard.

Criticism of Benzema

"You can do it or leave it, it's an individual decision for everyone," Kroos said of Benzema's transfer.

"I would have thought he would have pursued the idea of ending his career in Madrid. At the end of the day, in football, there is an end."

Benzema during his unveiling ceremony in Saudi Arabia
AFP

Benzema has signed a three-year contract with Saudi champions Al-Ittihad. "I would (suggest) that he didn't know the club two weeks before (joining)," said Kroos, who also spoke highly of the Frenchman.

"There have been few strikers in the last 15 years who could handle the ball (like him). It was a great pleasure to play with him," he concluded.

Hazard sets an example

Bellingham will join Real next season for an initial £85 million from Borussia Dortmund, where he will have a contract until 2029.

"Welcome to Madrid," said Kroos, who admitted he hadn't seen 'an incredible number of Dortmund games' recently.

However, Kroos also issued a warning, and took the opportunity to lash out at an ex-colleague in the form of Hazard.

The Belgian had switched from Chelsea to Real in 2019, in a big-money move, but failed to even nearly hit expectations.

"We also had someone who came for a lot of money and practically let his career die out," said Kroos of Hazard, with reference to Bellingham's deal.

"A lot of money - and I think everyone would say in retrospect (it) wasn't such a good transfer."

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