Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos was critical of players moving to Saudi Arabia

Leipzig (Germany) (AFP) - Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos on Monday doubled down on his criticism of players moving to Saudi Arabia, due to the human rights situation in the country.

Kroos was booed and whistled as Real won the Spanish Super Cup tournament in January, which was held in Saudi Arabia.

Speaking in Leipzig ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League last 16 first leg, Kroos was asked what he thought about the response of the Saudi fans.

“For me it was a confirmation that I said everything right in the interviews,” the 34-year-old said on Monday.

In the summer of 2023, Kroos told Sports Illustrated that the human rights situation in the country was “the one thing that would stop me from making such a change”.

“People say they play ambitious football there, but it’s all about the money”.

“It’s a decision for the money and against football, and from there things start to get difficult for the football we know and love.”

Several big-name players moved to the Saudi league in the summer, including Kroos’ former teammates Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson, who was criticised for moving to Saudi, has since returned, signing with Ajax in the winter window.

Kroos, whose deal in Madrid expires in the summer, said he was still undecided whether to continue, but revealed “I have always said I want to end my career at the highest level.”

The midfielder also addressed speculation he could return to the Germany side for Euro 2024, to be held on home soil.

“All I can say is that I haven’t made a decision yet. it depends on many things, how I feel, how the season goes, and the plans that I have.”

The 2024 World Cup winner stepped down from international football in 2021.

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti said Kroos returning for the Euros “could work well” but told reporters “he needs to make the decision and we need to respect it.”

“His performances this season have been simply fantastic. He always shows his quality.

“He doesn’t have dips in form, he’s not up and down. He’s a player who should end his career on a high.”