Toni Kroos has doubled down on his damning view of players who have moved to the Saudi Pro League, claiming the decision goes “against football”.
A number of high-profile players have moved to Saudi Arabia, including Kroos former Real Madrid teammates Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema.
Stars like Neymar, N’Golo Kante, Ruben Neves, Riyad Mahrez, Roberto Firmino, Jordan Henderson Kalidou Koulibaly, Allan Saint-Maximin and Aymeric Laporte are now also plying their trade in the country after making eye-watering transfers.
And recently, Celta Vigo and Spain starlet Gabri Veiga joined the Saudi side Al Ahli after they activated his €40 million release clause.
Napoli, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United were all linked with Veiga, who scored 11 goals in La Liga last term.
But he will now play in the SPL at just 21 and Kroos did not hold back, labelling the move “embarrassing” and commenting on Fabrizio Romano’s Instagram post.
And the German has followed up with further criticism of those who have signed outrageous contracts in Saudi, claiming they are doing so “for the money”.
He took aim at players who have believes are still in the “middle of their career”.
“It’s been said that they play ambitious football there, but it’s all about the money. In the end, it’s a decision for the money and against football,” Kroos told Sports Illustrated, as per MARCA.
“That’s when it starts to become difficult for the football we all know and love.
“Everyone has to make that decision for themselves, like Cristiano Ronaldo, who decided to do it towards the end of his career.
“But it becomes very difficult when players, who are in the middle of their career and have the quality to play for the best clubs in Europe, decide to make those changes”.
Kroos is a traditionalist when it comes to football, evidenced in the fact he still wears the classic white Adidas Adipure 11pro on his feet.
He is now in his tenth season at Real, having joined from Bayern Munich back in 2013 but shows no signs of slowing down at the ripe old age of 33.
Kroos added: “It’s a special number for me, especially because I haven’t just been playing anywhere for nine years, but at a very special club.
“At Real Madrid you always have to be at your best and perform at your best.”