Toni Kroos: Gareth Bale, Isco choice determines Real Madrid’s UCL tactics

Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos has suggested his team’s tactics for Saturday’s Champions League final against Juventus will be determined by whether Isco or Gareth Bale starts.

Coach Zinedine Zidane must decide whether to stick with Isco — who has impressed in an attacking midfield role in recent months — or bring back Bale after injuries.

Zidane suggested he was ready to return Bale to the XI despite a media clamour to start Isco, but the Wales international has said he is not yet 100 percent fit and may be better suited to a substitute role.

Speaking at Madrid’s Valdebebas training ground, Kroos said: “I will not speak about players who play or not because there are 23, not just Bale or Isco.

“I can tell you what it means to play with 4-4-2 or 4-3-3. With 4-4-2 you have one more player in the midfield. With 4-3-3 you can play more on the sides because you have two players on the wings.

“It changes the way we play not only in offence but defence too. The coach will tell us on Saturday.”

Asked for his view on which approach would work best, Kroos said: “I will not decide this. I have an opinion but I will not tell you.”

Luka Modric told reporters at the event that former Tottenham teammate Bale had been through a tough time with injuries and the Madrid players were happy about his return.

“He was one of the best players at the start of the season and it’s not nice for him that he has suffered since,” Modric said.

“The second half of the season was all injuries for him and we are now really pleased to have him back, because he has shown before that he is a player for the finals.

“Gareth is very honest and I’m sure that he will talk to the manager and they will come to a conclusion based on what is best for the team.”