Kroos reins in Real Madrid's ambition, with top four now the target

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With their title defence all but over, the Blancos' World Cup-winning midfielder admits securing Champions League qualification is now the sole target

Toni Kroos admits Real Madrid now have to focus on finishing inside La Liga's top four and qualifying for the Champions League following Saturday's shock loss to Villarreal.

Madrid conceded with three minutes remaining as Villarreal upstaged the struggling Spanish and European champions 1-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The result has left Madrid fourth and 16 points adrift of leaders Barcelona, who could extend that advantage to 19 with victory at Real Sociedad on Sunday, and only a point ahead of fifth-placed Villarreal.

"We have to focus on qualifying for the Champions League next season," Kroos told BeIN Sports USA.

"We have to think about our current position.

"I think this should be our goal for the remainder of the season."

"Sixteen points is very far away and now isn't the time to think about anything other than the next game," Germany international Kroos said.

"We have to start gaining points once more.

"This will allow Real Madrid to get closer to their goal of finishing inside the top four."

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