Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos has acknowledged the difficulty the club will have in the new season replacing the 50 goals a year that Cristiano Ronaldo would typically score.
Ronaldo brought his nine-year stay at the Bernabeu to an end this summer to join Italian giants Juventus in a deal worth €100m, having scored 450 goals in 438 appearances for the Spanish giants.
And speaking to German sports outlet Kicker (via ESPN), Kroos admitted the club could struggle to replace Ronaldo as the constant source of goals in the side – though the Germany international insisted Real Madrid will still be a force in La Liga this year.
“We’ll see about that,” Kroos said. “It’ll be difficult to compensate 50 goals per season.
“Cristiano has been an important cornerstone for us in the past years, and was instrumental for our successes. In spite of that I am absolutely convinced of our team. We will again be hard to beat this term.”
Kroos was also asked for comment on teammate Luka Modric, who won the Golden Ball at this summer’s World Cup following his immense displays at the tournament for finalists Croatia.
“It’s clear that I believed this was possible,” he said. “We’ve been teammates for four years now — I know what an incredible player Luka is.”
Real Madrid are preparing for their first season under the management of Julen Lopetegui, who replaces Zinedine Zidane after the Frenchman stepped down following Los Blancos’ third successive Champions League win.