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Real Madrid's Toni Kroos Praises Messi's Barcelona Exit: 'Our Biggest Competitor Lost Best Player'

Soccer Football - Ligue 1 - Paris St Germain v RC Strasbourg - Parc des Princes, Paris, France - August 14, 2021
© REUTERS / SARAH MEYSSONNIER

Many Barcelona fans were left in shock and (literally) in tears this summer after Lionel Messi confirmed his departure from his childhood club following the expiration of his contract. In August, the legendary forward joined French club Paris Saint-Germain – tipping the balance in its favour regarding the odds of winning the Champions League.

Lionel Messi parting ways with Barcelona may be a bitter pill to swallow for the club's devoted fans, but for those cheering on La Liga rivals Real Madrid there's reason to celebrate, according to Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos.

The German footballer told his brother on their joint podcast "Einfach mal luppen" that Messi’s departure from Barca will not only weaken Real’s biggest rival, but could also potentially lead to another high-profile transfer – that of Kylian Mbappe.

“We'll see how it all works out [Messi to PSG]. Maybe the move is good for us because our biggest competitor has lost their best player,” Kroos shared on the podcast, according to The Daily Mail’s translation.

The Germany player then hinted that there was a big chance that Messi’s warm welcome at PSG could motivate Mbappe to join Real following speculation that the 22-year-old feels threatened by the Argentinian and “concerned” over his arrival at the Parc des Princes.

“And maybe even more good things will come out of it as a result,” Kroos went on. “Maybe [a player] from Paris joins us… If that [Mbappe joining Madrid] should actually happen – I don't know – this whole Messi deal would certainly not be a disadvantage for us.”

Mbappe is yet to sign an extension to his PSG contract, which expires in 10 months. If the Frenchman decides to leave the club, he could do so for free next summer.

© REUTERS / PASCAL ROSSIGNOL
Soccer Football - Paris St Germain Training - Ooredoo Training Centre, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France - August 13, 2021

Reports now indicate that PSG has already lost hope of keeping the pacy French star and is willing to start negotiations with Real over his transfer – the Spanish have courted the player for some time. 

But the French club also has some other (some would say rather unrealistic) expectations in case Mbappe departs; there are rumours that PSG could try to sign Juventus frontman Cristiano Ronaldo. Combining five-time Ballon d’Or winner with six-time winner Messi – as well as Neymar – would be a real power move, however, these reports have been dismissed by Ronaldo, who slammed efforts to “play” with his name as “disrespectful."

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