Carlo Ancelotti hails 'irreplaceable' Real Madrid veteran after Granada victory

  • Kroos pulled the strings as Real Madrid beat Granada 2-0 on Saturday
  • German midfielder is enjoying a run of starts after initially struggling for minutes
  • Kroos is in the final year of his contract with Madrid
Kroos dazzled against Granada
Kroos dazzled against Granada / Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/GettyImages

Carlo Ancelotti has hailed the "irreplaceable" Toni Kroos after the midfielder's dazzling performance in Real Madrid's 2-0 win over Granada on Saturday.

Kroos, who is enjoying a run of starts after initially struggling for minutes this season, grabbed his fifth assist of the season in a mesmeric performance which fired Madrid back to the top of the La Liga standings.

"He is unique because he doesn't miss passes and always chooses the best solution," Ancelotti said of Kroos after the game. "He is a midfielder who wants the ball. He has no means of pressure. The best thing is the control and orientation he has.

"Toni Kroos is also irreplaceable when he doesn't play."

Continuing the praise of 33-year-old Kroos, goalkeeper Andriy Lunin added: "What Kroos did is not surprising; he has been playing this way for 15 years."

Carlo Ancelotti, Toni Kroos
Ancelotti was delighted with Kroos / Angel Martinez/GettyImages

Kroos inked a new one-year contract with Madrid last summer to carry him through into 2024 but, like fellow veteran Luka Modric, has faced a reduction in his minutes this season as Ancelotti has shifted towards a younger midfield.

The summer arrival of Jude Bellingham saw Madrid shift to a diamond midfield with the Englishman leading Federico Valverde, Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni in Ancelotti's favoured lineup.

Injuries, however, have restricted Ancelotti's ability to use that four-man midfield. Tchouameni and Camavinga have both been ruled out until 2024, giving Kroos the opportunity to strut his stuff on a regular basis once again.

On a run of three straight starts, Kroos has now kicked off nine of Madrid's 15 La Liga games and is expected to add to that tally in the coming weeks.