Zinedine Zidane Defends Selection of Toni Kroos against Cultural Leonesa

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane surprised many by opting for Toni Kroos in the recent Copa del Rey game against Cultural Leonesa.

The second division outfit would not be a major competitor for the 11 time European champions. Hence, first-team regulars like Toni Kroos were expected to be rested for the game. It was not the case and the German midfielder played in this match on Wednesday. The selection by the Real Madrid manager has been criticised since it does not help the player recover in time for the game against Alaves this weekend.

Madrid are expected to take the game quite seriously considering that the opposition have already secured some positive results this season. One of the most high-profile results in the history of the club came in the 2-1 win against Barcelona recently. Zidane, though, says that the unavailability of players like Luka Modric severely depleted the squad and he had no other option but to play the German international.

Madrid have secured a 7-1 victory against of the second division outfit and the passage into the next round has almost been confirmed. Kroos will not be getting any time off in the weekend since the focus shifts back to the La Liga.

Madrid have made it clear that they want to win the league this season after going almost 5 years without a league title. The club, though, have been quite successful in Europe after having won the Champions League twice during this period. “I had to play him because we were missing several players in that position. The plan was to give him a rest towards the end, but he wanted to play on until the end. I asked him and he said that he was feeling good and wanted to continue. It was a normal game for him,” said Zidane.