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.
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