Toni Kroos is full of praise for Liverpool and names Reds player who ‘sets the standards’ | Soccer

Club Atlético de Madrid vs Real Madrid CF - La Liga Santander

Toni Kroos expects a very tough test from Liverpool in the Champions League final (Image: Getty Images)

Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos believes Liverpool are now a better team than the one they faced in the 2018 Champions League final and hails Thiago Alcantara as the man who “sets the benchmark in midfield”.

The two giants meet again in the Champions League final in Paris on Saturday, with Liverpool looking to avenge their 3-1 defeat four years ago.

The Reds have won Europe’s top competition and the Premier League for the first time since that meeting, and most would agree with Kroos that they are a superior side now going into 2018.

One reason why the German has improved is the arrival of Thiago, whom he values ​​very much and who plays in the same position in midfield.

“Honestly, I think Liverpool are a better team than they were in 2018,” Kroos said. “They managed to keep their best players and sign a few more.

“Thiago sets the standards in midfield, they’re still very strong at the back and I think they’ve been the best team in Europe this season in terms of consistency.

“But it’s still just one game and we also have to take into account that we eliminated them in the quarter-finals last season. Thing is 50%.’

The good news for Liverpool is that Thiago became fit again on Saturday after picking up a worrying injury in the last Premier League game of the season against Wolves.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp confirmed on Friday that the Spain international can play against Real, as can Fabinho, meaning Liverpool will be at full strength.

Real Madrid v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League

Kroos knows firsthand how difficult a challenge is for Liverpool (Image: Getty Images)

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema wasn’t sure if the Reds have developed in the last four years, saying: “They are very good. “They haven’t changed much over the years. But in the end we have to look at our game. And when we do our thing, what happens happens. I am confident.’

MORE : Steven Gerrard wants to sign Liverpool hero Luis Suarez for Aston Villa

MORE : Paul Merson makes definitive Champions League prediction as Liverpool take on Real Madrid

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Liverpool FC Toni Kroos is full of praise for Liverpool and names Reds player who 'sets the standards' | Soccer

Nate Jones

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