ZDF reporter Nils Kaben commented on Sunday’s legendary interview with Toni Kroos, which took place after the Champions League final. In a phone call to the “Bild” newspaper, Kaben said he regretted how the interview went. He’s sorry, according to the ZDF reporter. However, he also makes it clear: the situation was stupid for both him and the real star. He didn’t want to provoke Kroos.

Kroos himself now explained his reaction. “I’m not asking for more respect. I only expected positive questions after winning the Champions League final,” said the ex-world champion after the 1-0 win in the Champions League final with Real Madrid against Liverpool. Instead, he was asked “why it was so difficult against Liverpool and why it was half happy. I didn’t think he did that well.”

ZDF sports director Thomas Fuhrmann finds the course of the TV interview “regrettable”. “These situations right after the final whistle are always special,” said Fuhrmann of the German Press Agency on Sunday. “Maybe my colleague should have stayed with the emotions and got to the core of the game a little later. Basically, the questions were legitimate and no reason to break off the interview.”

What happened? The dispute between Kroos and Kaben in full:

Just a few minutes after the big Champions League triumph, Kroos is really angry. He’s just celebrating the 1-0 win over Liverpool in the direction of the stands when he’s invited to the winner’s interview on ZDF – and it goes really wrong!

It begins quite harmlessly, when Kaben aptly introduces: “You have now won the Champions League for the fifth time. That’s incredible, isn’t it?”

“There’s nothing to add,” says a smiling Kroos, rather taciturn. Kaben digs deeper and wants to hear feelings. “You just stood here for a few minutes and looked at the audience because it has to sink in first,” asks the ZDF man.

“It’ll have to sink in for a few days anyway,” says Kroos. “I checked where my family is because it’s a very special title for me. Because everyone was in the stadium today. I’ve always said I already have them won a Champions League or two, but I wanted all the kids to be in the stadium and that was the case today, and that’s beyond words how nice it is.”

“What’s taken for granted?” he replies. “Winning the Champions League isn’t taken for granted either. I think we put up a great fight. We knew Liverpool were a great team.” Kroos sighs again, I don’t know what he should answer to this question: “What doesn’t mean, of course? We won. Done.”

But Kaben remains critical. “Was that surprising to you that Real Madrid got into a lot of trouble?” Kroos now seems really annoyed. With an annoyed laugh, she replies: “Well, you had 90 minutes to think of sensible questions, honestly. And then you ask me two shitty questions. Insanity.”

Kaben tries to explain. “Well, I don’t think it’s that bad, because…” but then he’s interrupted by Kroos. “It’s not surprising that you’re in trouble against Liverpool. Whats that for a question. We’re not playing a group game somewhere. We’re playing the Champions League final.”

The ZDF reporter wants to explain again. “But that it was so clear that Real was as good as gone in the knockout phase…”, he is interrupted again. Kroos shakes his head, waves his hand and then breaks off the winner’s interview. “Now he’s gone,” says a left and puzzled Kaben.

When Kroos walks past him moments later, he only says: “It’s really bad, really.”

The ZDF direction jumps away, but the microphone catches more words from the real star. He complains to Kaben: “You only ask three negative questions, then you already know that you come from Germany.”

Commentator Bela Rethy takes over again and tries to mediate. “He was a bit upset, Toni Kroos,” he says dryly. “But the colleague Nils Kaben actually only wanted to point out that Liverpool were actually superior to the statistics. With a goal shot ratio of 21:2 or 21:3, that was actually the message. But well, in the emotions, adrenaline also produces the strangest flowers. Swam over it!”