'Maybe he wanted the job' – Kroos defends Low after Ballack criticism

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Ballack has been an outspoken critic of the Germany boss since the World Cup debacle, but his jibes were not well received by the players

Toni Kroos has suggested Michael Ballack's criticism of Joachim Low may have been motivated by a personal desire to coach Germany.

Speaking to Deutsche Welle on Thursday, Germany great Ballack said he was surprised Low was kept on as head coach after overseeing their first World Cup group-stage exit since 1938.

Four years prior to that humiliation, Low had led his country to glory in international football's showpiece in Brazil, a tournament that included a 7-1 semi-final hammering of the hosts before an extra-time triumph over Argentina.

Real Madrid midfielder Kroos believes Low has earned the right to try to reverse Germany's fortunes and, perhaps light-heartedly, questioned Ballack's motives.

"There are always different views. Some say that after a big success [it is] the moment to leave," he said.

"Others say you should not go on after a bad moment. But new ideas can sometimes come from the same coach, if he questions himself, and I believe that he has done that.

"Michael Ballack thinks there should have been a change. Maybe he wanted to take over.

"I'm convinced that we'll get back on track now with Jogi Low. He proved during several years that he is ready to develop himself again and again. It was always a steady rise with him."

Germany face Netherlands in their second Nations League match on Saturday.

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