Real Madrid star Toni Kroos did not have a particular name in mind when asked to name his UEFA Champions League favorites this season.
Only one of the eight fixtures in the last 16 of the competition doesn’t feature at least one former Champions League-winning club — Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) vs Real Sociedad. Otherwise, Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Porto, Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid, PSV Eindhoven, and Barcelona have all won the competition before.
Arsenal, PSG, and Atletico Madrid have reached the final of the Champions League at least once in their history and are strong contenders to win it this season. Kroos has himself won it on five occasions and his club, Real Madrid, have a record 14 titles to their name.
Manchester City won the competition last season after Real Madrid’s triumph in the 2021-22 campaign. Asked to name his favorites to wear the European crown this term, Kroos replied (h/t @MadridXtra on X):
“Favourite to win the Champions League? I don’t know, difficult to say. The level is very high and this motivates us.”
Kroos’ team will play against Bundesliga club RB Leipzig in the first leg on Tuesday (February 13) at the Red Bull Arena in Saxony.
Eduardo Camavinga says he wants to win a ‘lot more’ Champions League titles with Real Madrid
Many footballing legends finished their careers without ever getting their hands on the UEFA Champions League trophy. Eduardo Camavinga won it as a teenager in his first season with Real Madrid.
The Frenchman was no passenger either, making 46 appearances across competitions that season for Los Merengues. He has now reiterated that he wants to win the trophy several times with his team, telling the club’s official media channel, via Mundo Deportivo (h/t MadridUniversal):
“The Champions League is important for the club and for me too. The fact that I’ve already won it helps. I have a lot more experience in the competition but I want to win a lot more.”
Carlo Ancelotti has made use of Camavinga as a full-back, a No. 8, and as a defensive midfielder during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu. He has predominantly played in central midfield this season and has already made 26 appearances across competitions despite missing several weeks of action with a knee injury.
Camavinga, 22, is expected to feature against RB Leipzig in some capacity. After all, he has played a part in every game this season where he was available for selection.