Gareth Bale has ended his professional career, which is why Toni Kroos also recalled what it was like to play with the Welshman.

Opinions are divided when it comes to assessing the career of Gareth Bale. On Monday, the 33-year-old Welshman ended his career after five Champions League victories with Real Madrid. But also after several years in which he hardly ever played – and even less often with the world-class he once embodied.

The conclusion is relatively one-sided for his long-time teammate Toni Kroos, who has experienced Bale’s work at close quarters. In his podcast “Einfach mal Luppen”, Real Madrid’s strategist went into raptures.

“He was one of the best I played with,” Kroos underlined what he had already posted on Instagram in the direction of Bale. “Even though things didn’t go the way he and the club had imagined at Real, especially at the back,” Kroos once again highlighted his qualities in detail.

Kroos raves: “For me, there was no one like Gareth”.

“For me as a midfielder, he was an absolute gift, because he was someone who always offered runs that were worth their weight in gold,” the 2014 World Cup winner explained. “For me, there was no one like Gareth in my career, who had such clever runs and offered runs that also hurt the opponent. It’s hard to understand from the outside.”

Even though Bale, who won Real Madrid several finals, was never awarded a major individual prize, in Kroos’ eyes that would have been quite possible: “For me, with all his qualities, he should always have been at least number three behind Messi and Cristiano. In my eyes he had everything. He was incredibly fast, and physically strong. Let’s take Messi out of the equation: I don’t know a better left-footer there has been in the world in the last decade.”

Early career end did not surprise Kroos – What does he do himself?

However, Kroos also stresses that “it wasn’t at all times. That was also a bit because maybe he didn’t always want to.” So the former German international (“I know him a little bit”) already had the feeling anyway “that he is also someone who doesn’t play football forever”.

Kroos has always said similar things about himself, and in fact, it is still possible that he is playing his last season. Whether his career will soon end or there will be one more year – in Madrid – is something Kroos is said to want to decide in the coming weeks and months.