Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos on why ‘totally pleasant guy’ Roger Federer is the greatest athlete of all time
Real Madrid and Germany star Toni Kroos says he is “absolutely convinced” that Roger Federer is the greatest athlete of all time.
With a record 20 Grand Slams to his name and a host of other milestones, many believe Federer is currently the greatest tennis player of all time (GOAT).
Others, though, feel Rafael Nadal (19 Grand Slams) and Novak Djokovic (17 majors) are already better than Federer and will eventually surpass his Grand Slam tally.
However, tennis fan Kroos says not only is Federer the tennis GOAT, but he feels the Swiss icon is the best athlete of all time.
“I am absolutely convinced of this [Federer is the greatest athlete of all time] – even if I can only speak for the time I have experienced,” he told Eurosport.
“I can’t judge the rest, but even then, it could be hard to surpass Roger. For me, it’s a mix of success and the fact that his tennis is nice to look at.
“I’ve met him a few times and can confirm that he is a totally pleasant guy.
“He comes across as a family man, is interested in soccer – even if he didn’t hit the jackpot with FC Basel, but he has to go through it. So, it’s not hard for me to be a fan of Roger Federer.”
Kroos was also asked who he thinks is the successor to Federer and feels Stefanos Tsitsipas is top of the pile, but concedes he initially got his prediction wrong.
“I once leaned quite far out of the window and said: In five years [Grigor] Dimitrov will be the clear number one,” he said.
“How he moves, how he plays, I already liked it very much. But it hasn’t come to that. Maybe I saw more than there was.
“Today I like to watch Stefanos Tsitsipas. If he gets more consistency in his playing, that could be one. I have yet to be convinced by [Alexander] Zverev.
“Of course, as a German I hope for him. The last person I really liked to watch from a German point of view as a tennis fan was Tommy Haas.
“Boris [Becker] was unfortunately too early for me. If you look at the Grand Slams with Sascha, there’s still a bit missing. I can see Tsitsipas just a bit further. And if I had to choose, Tsitsipas plays the nicer tennis for me.
Dominic Thiem gets nightmare Roland Garros draw with FOUR Grand Slam winners possibly awaiting him
Austrian may have to do it the hard way.
COMMENT: The sporting fates have dreamed up perfect story for Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka
What do the sporting gods have in store?
Andy Murray to play old foe Stan Wawrinka in first round of French Open
Draw throws up remarkable twist of fate.
Liam Broady thanks Andy Murray after qualifying for French Open for first time
Broady grateful to legend.
EXCLUSIVE: In conversation with the coach leading the LTA’s flourishing wheelchair tennis programme
We talk to LTA Technical Performance Coach Rob Cross
Novak Djokovic refuses French Open favourite tag: ‘If it’s Roland Garros, you bet on Rafael Nadal’
It’s still Rafa’s house, says Djokovic.
Dominic Thiem says ‘the pressure has now gone’ as he targets another Grand Slam crown
Austrian looking to ride momentum in Paris.
Novak Djokovic admits US Open ejection was tough mentally: ‘I experienced ups and downs’
World number one discusses Flushing Meadows fallout.
Benoit Paire allowed to play in Hamburg despite positive Covid-19 test
Rules in Germany meant Paire was deemed no longer to be infectious.