Toni Kroos has revealed he decided to move to Real Madrid only after winning the World Cup with Germany.
The 24-year-old admitted he had been approached by the Spaniards, and "all the biggest clubs in the world," prior to lifting the World Cup, but it was that triumph over Argentina in the Maracana which made up his mind for him.
"I wanted a change,'' Kroos, who joined Madrid from Bayern Munich last week for a fee reportedly in the region of 20 million pounds, said on the website of the German Football Association (DFB).
"The first time I gave it any thought was when contract talks with Bayern hit the buffers. Bayern were always my first contact and that is why I had always ruled out making contact with any other clubs.
"When we were unable to reach an agreement and several interested clubs, including all of the biggest clubs in the world, approached me, I decided to try out something new.
"Winning the World Cup then tipped the scales.''
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He insists his decision to join Madrid was made in favour of the Champions League holders and not against Bayern.
"I have played in one of the best clubs in the world, and was a regular under many different coaches in recent years and I was always able to feature, despite the fierce competition,'' Kroos added.
"I was always taken excellent care of at Bayern too. Pep Guardiola and director of sport Matthias Sammer were always important people whom I could talk to and they showed their faith in me.
"And the fans always supported me too, and I thanked them on my homepage immediately after my transfer.
"My aim was to experience something new.''
Something new could also have been the Premier League, and Manchester United were reported to be just one of the big clubs keen on signing the midfielder.
In the end, though, Kroos opted for the Bernabeu.
"It's a huge challenge for me at Real Madrid,'' he said. "This club is known the world over.
"I was particularly pleased to hear from [former Bayern coach] Jupp Heynckes, who himself worked at Real and whom I have a great deal to thank.
"There were thousands of people in the stands at my presentation and president Florentino Perez had to interrupt his speech several times for all of the cheers.
"You don't get something like that anywhere else. After playing for Greifswald, Rostock, Leverkusen and Munich, this is just the right club for me.''