Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos praised Catalan coach Pep Guardiola, who he worked with at Bayern Munich during the 2013-14 season.
The German international recognised that having worked under the former Barcelona boss was an important step in his career.
In an interview published on the German Federation's website, Kroos said that he "wouldn’t undervalue the year under Pep Guardiola because I think I made a big step forward in that year."
Kroos continued: “I look at my career in phases: Jupp [Heynckes] was the most important coach in the early stages of my career, both at Leverkusen [during a loan spell] and then in Munich as well.
“Pep Guardiola saw me as a central player in his system, which my style of play fitted into perfectly.”
The player also said he was satisfied with the timing of his move to Real Madrid, despite leaving Guardiola behind in Munich.
"In my eyes, my transfer came at just the right time," he added. "When you move to a top team abroad and assert your position in the team, you’ve made another step forward. It went pretty smoothly for me."