Toni Kroos said people are quick to forget about Real Madrid’s three consecutive Champions League titles as he insisted the club’s European streak will never be repeated following their shock elimination on Tuesday.
Madrid’s stranglehold on the Champions League was snapped by Ajax, who stunned the holders 4-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu in the last 16.
Dutch giants Ajax overturned a 2-1 first-leg deficit to sensationally trump Madrid 5-3 on aggregate en route to the quarter-finals.
It capped a horrendous week for Santiago Solari’s struggling Madrid, who suffered back-to-back home defeats to bitter rivals Barcelona prior to Ajax’s visit.
Madrid lost to Barca in the Copa del Rey semi-finals before going down to the LaLiga leaders in their league clash just three days later – leaving the Spanish capital club 12 points off the pace.
Afterwards, star midfielder Kroos told reporters: “We have a good team and we showed that in some moments of the season but to be honest not constantly and not constantly enough.
“This week we lost everything. Every opportunity to win a trophy, we lost in this week. And this is hard and it’s hard to accept.
“For me people forget very fast about what happened in the past because I said now, it’s not usual that a team wins three Champions Leagues in a row and it will never happen again, I tell you now.”
He added: “Congratulations to Ajax, they were the better team and we have to finish the season seriously in my opinion now and prepare the next season. I still see that the players have the quality but I think this season not one player had his best form constantly and this is the reason why we are out now.”
Madrid lost Lucas Vazquez and Vinicius Junior to injuries in the first half as their title defence unravelled in stunning fashion.
Vazquez, who was close to tears after succumbing to injury, apologised following the humiliating defeat on home soil.
“It’s time for us to apologise,” he said. “We’re really down and upset with how we performed out there. It’s too soon to say that it’s the end of an era.
“We won the Champions League in each of the past three seasons. This year that won’t be possible but we’ll be back for more next season. We’re Madrid and we’ve got a duty to win all of the competitions.
“It’s a bit difficult to analyse things whilst it’s fresh and I’d have to watch the game back and see what happened. Ajax were better than us and that’s how things go in football. When the opposition are better you have to admit it and work hard so it doesn’t happen again.”