Toni Kroos has admitted Bayern Munich are the team to beat right now, proclaiming his former club as "better than Real Madrid, and the best in the world".
Bayern swept all before them in 2019/20, winning a Bundesliga, DFB Cup and UEFA Champions League treble. Real lifted the La Liga title, but were eliminated from the Copa Del Rey and Champions League at the quarter-final and last-16 stage respectively.
In the early goings of the new season, Bayern - victorious in the European Super Cup and German equivalent - top the Bundesliga and their Champions League group, the latter thanks to a record-extending 15-match winning streak in UEFA competition.
Real, for their part, are four points off the pace domestically and sit third of a Champions League section headed by Borussia Mönchengladbach.
"There's no doubt Bayern have been the best team in the world in recent months," Kroos told Marca. "Real were for a few years, but now it's Bayern. When you look at how they've played recently - they won so many games by at least four goals.
"Right now, Bayern are better than Real. They won the Champions League and, for me, whoever wins that is the best team in the world because it's the most difficult competition to win."
Kroos should know. The 100-time Germany international was part of Bayern's 2012/13 treble-winners under Jupp Heynckes, scoring three goals in nine Champions League appearances before missing the triumphant run-in through injury.
Watch: Toni Kroos - Made in the Bundesliga
All told, Kroos - who made his Bundesliga debut at 17 - turned out 205 times in all competitions for Bayern, as well as 48 during a loan spell with Bayer Leverkusen.
The three-time Bundesliga winner also lifted the 2014 FIFA World Cup with Germany, before moving to Real where he won three consecutive Champions League titles in 2016, 2017 and 2018.