Benitez keen to keep Kroos fresh

The midfielder will be rotated throughout the season as the coach tries to keep his best players in peak condition

Real Madrid coach Rafael Benitez says he will rotate Toni Kroos this season to ensure he remains fit for the entire campaign.

The Germany international made 55 appearances in all competitions last term but Benitez is keen to reduce the workload on the 25-year-old.

Kroos watched on from the bench as Madrid thrashed Espanyol 6-0 in La Liga last weekend before returning for the Champions League win over Shakhtar on Tuesday.

“I know how important he was for the team last season and how difficult it was for him to hold down the fort in midfield virtually alone all campaign, so what I want is to keep him fresh,” he told a news conference.

“Luka [Modric] and Kroos make the difference when they’re on the pitch. I will rotate by making changes in certain positions, but Kroos is very important for us.”

Kroos joined Madrid from Bayern Munich in the summer of 2014.

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