Weeks after calling 21-year-old Gabri Veiga’s move to Al-Ahli in the Saudi Pro League “embarrassing”, Kroos has further doubled down. The German, who is almost at his ten-year mark at Real Madrid, is known for speaking his mind, and he recently took another shot at Saudi Arabia and the recent trend of footballers choosing to move to the oil-rich country.

Following in the footsteps of players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, among others, several other big names have made the switch to Saudi Arabia, with the likes of Neymar, Sadio Mane, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Kalidou Koulibaly, and Ruben Neves being some of the names.   These players have all signed contracts that are far more financially secure than those they would have received in Europe, where there is no FFP of any kind. In an interview with Mundo Deportivo, Kroos spoke on various topics, like the recent influx of players into Saudi Arabia from Europe.

“It has been said that the football there is ambitious, but it all revolves around money. It’s complicated when players who are in the middle of their careers and who have the quality to play for the big clubs in Europe decide to opt for such transfers,” Kroos said.  “They say it’s ambitious football when it’s all about the money. From that point on, it is difficult for the football we all know and love,” he added.

When criticizing veterans who went there for a payday, Kroos was more forgiving and mentioned his former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo. The midfield maestro said, “That’s when it starts to be 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.”