Toni Kroos won the Champions League for the fifth time in his career on Saturday night — that’s outstanding. Then a ZDF reporter doesn’t hit the right note after the final whistle and Kroos curses the interview – unfortunately rightly so.

Of course, in retrospect, Toni Kroos overreacted a little. If you look again at the interview attempt by ZDF field reporter Nils Kaben with the German national player immediately after winning the Champions League final, it no longer seems so out of place how and what Kaden asks – and Kroos’ rude termination of the Conversation (“really bad, really bad, really”) unprofessional.

But that is not the important thing. What counts is the immediate situation after the game and Kaben behaved awkwardly in that. It is part of the art of a field reporter to hit the right note at a certain moment and respond to the emotions of a professional who is celebrating an outstanding success. Kaben couldn’t do that.

You can understand Kroos from the situation

Kaben can take credit for the fact that the unsuccessful interview with Kroos will be in a row with legendary journalist insults in the future. The benchmark for this is still set by Völler’s notorious “Weissbier” angry speech in 2003 in conversation with ARD man Waldemar Hartmann.

But how did it come to this? At the beginning of the interview, Kroos described how “beautiful” this title was because his three children were in the stadium and witnessed Papa’s historic triumph (“I can’t describe how beautiful it is”). And what follows? Kaben asks if it’s so nice because it’s “not a matter of course”. Kroos already feels touched: “What’s a matter of course? (…) We won, that’s it!” Kaben goes on to ask: “Was it a surprise to you that Real Madrid got into a lot of trouble?” That’s the end of it for Kroos: “You’ve had 90 minutes to think about sensible questions, honestly. And now you’re asking me two shitty questions. I think that’s crazy!”

And yes, if you heard and saw the interview live, you can understand Kroos with all solidarity with his colleague. He probably felt like a lucky winner from Kaben, an underdog who just barely made it. “Not to be taken for granted” and “in distress” – for one of the most successful footballers in history, these are understandably not categories immediately after a triumph. They may matter in a cool analysis later, but not at such a moment.

Other factors play a role in the reaction

Just a reminder: Toni Kroos and Real Madrid eliminated Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City on their way to the final. More heavyweights are not possible. In the final, the team withstood Liverpool’s attacking pressure and took one of their few chances with cool precision to score the winner, while Liverpool failed to score from numerous chances, thanks in part to outstanding goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. Real won the final because they held out and were the clever team in the end.

Now it certainly plays a role in Kroos’ hearty reaction that football professionals are often critical of the work of sports journalists and are annoyed by the questions after the end of the game. In addition, Kroos, who has received a lot of criticism in Germany in recent years, does not always feel sufficiently appreciated at home. You can be angry at times.