'Tie his shoes together': Spain wary of 'brutal' Kroos

Spain's head coach Luis de la Fuente supervises his team's training session on Thursday (LLUIS GENE)
Spain's head coach Luis de la Fuente supervises his team's training session on Thursday (LLUIS GENE)

Spain coach Luis de la Fuente said his side may need to get creative to stop Germany's "brutal" Toni Kroos in Friday's Euro 2024 quarter final in Stuttgart.

"We thought about tying Kroos feet together, but I'm not sure if UEFA will let me," the 63-year-old coach joked in Stuttgart on Thursday.

"We know how Kroos behaves. We will try and make sure he doesn't have the chance to receive the ball and will limit his passing options.

"We'll appeal to UEFA to see if we can tie him down."

Spain head into Friday's clash as the only side at Euro 2024 who have won every game, with four wins from four.

Hosts Germany are however not far behind, having won three and drawn one on their way to the quarter final.

De la Fuente called Kroos "a world-class player, a footballer playing at a brutal level.

"He brought talent, charisma and quality into the dressing room. The confidence he transmits to the other players is contagious and has been very good for Germany.

"It's a pity he's leaving football because I love to watch him play."

Germany and Spain are the equal most successful sides in Euros history, with both having won three Euros titles.

The Spanish coach however said the winner on Friday would not become the favourite to win the final in Berlin on July 14.

"No, there are other powerful teams. Nothing is free here -- the closer you get to the final, the best will remain.

"We don't see ourselves as favourites, we see ourselves as a strong team who want to fight for everything and fight until the end."

Germany captain Ilkay Gundogan said a passionate home crowd in Stuttgart "could be the difference" between the two form sides at the competition, but de la Fuente said it could work to Spain's advantage.

"At this level, home-field advantage doesn't have much influence. My players are professionals and will not be intimidated by the hostile environment.

"Sometimes, that factor goes against the home team."

Spain captain Dani Carvajal, who has played alongside Kroos at Real for a decade, said he "hadn't spoken to him -- I'll wait until tomorrow.

"As the manager said, I hope we can tie him down. It'll be a very special match for him."