Bayern Munich chief Uli Hoeness has admitted that the 2014 sale of Toni Kroos to Real Madrid may have been a mistake.
The Germany international was sold to the Bernabeu for €25m shortly after helping the national side to lift the World Cup in Brazil, after talks to extend his contract at the Bundesliga giants broke down.
He has won a host of major trophies since joining Real, including three consecutive Champions League titles between 2016-18 and the 2017 La Liga crown.
He signed an extended contract with Real until 2023 earlier in May, having cemented his place as one of boss Zinedine Zidane’s most trusted lieutenants.
But in a new film by German director Manfred Oldenburg that charts Kroos’s life from his childhood in the town of Greifswald, Bayern president Hoeness expresses regret that his man was allowed to leave so easily.
“An association sometimes has to make hard decisions,” said Hoeness. “And that was a tough one, maybe the wrong one.”
In the film, which draws on contributions from people close to the player as well as from Kroos himself, the 29-year-old gives his own feelings on why he felt his interests were best served by leaving Bayern at the height of his powers.
“I was often told how great I am and how right I am doing everything, but I did not play,” said Kroos.
The film, simply titled Kroos and set to premiere on 30 June, also features former Germany internationals and established names from the domestic game.
Ex-midfielder Matthias Sammer, who made 74 international appearances between 1986-97 including 21 for the former East Germany, called Kroos “one of the greatest conductors German football ever had”.
Kroos was voted German footballer of the year by a panel of journalists in 2018, despite having been part of the team that failed spectacularly in defense of their title at the World Cup in Russia.
The Real man featured in all three of Germany’s games as they finished bottom of their group to be eliminated at the first hurdle, though he did provide the team’s only highlight of the tournament, scoring with a stoppage-time free-kick against Sweden to earn a 2-1 win.