Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos says Celtic Park is now his “new number one” away stadium after experiencing what he describes as an “insane” atmosphere in the Champions League group match last week.
Although the European champions came away with a 3-0 win, Kroos says it was a very difficult place to play football but his main takeaway was how respectful the fans were:
“I was being asked several times which away stadium is my favourite, and there is a new number one. I can tell you, Celtic Park. It has just been crazy. We came out and the atmosphere was good but then the Champions League anthem came up, and I thought the stadium would crash down. And then they did it again when they did the huddle. When we lined up for the team picture, I told David Alaba that it feels like we are already 2-0 down. Just insane!”
“The first 20 minutes, they pressed incredibly on us and had chances. The fans pushed them even more. The fans kept going until the end, even when we scored the third, they were still pushing the team. And then they made changes near the end and the whole stadium got off their feet. The real special thing was, not only did they push their team, but they also respected us. There was no hate. I am used to a lot over all those years but this really impressed me heavily. A great experience.”
It should be noted that Kroos has played in nearly every famous stadium in Europe, including Barcelona’s Camp Nou, Liverpool’s Anfield, Manchester United’s Old Trafford as well as Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena.
Of course, home supporters don’t need to be told how fantastic the Parkhead crowd is but, for Kroos, as a five Champions League winner, to give out such praise is a real feather in the cap.
Fans will be aiming to give Celtic just as much support when they host RB Leipzig and Shakhtar Donetsk at home over the next month or so.