Kroos suggests 'pre-qualification' for smaller nations

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Toni Kroos believes international competitions would benefit from putting smaller nations through a "pre-qualification" process, minimising the need for world champions Germany to play against the likes of San Marino.

Thomas Muller attracted controversy when he claimed matches like Germany's 8-0 victory over the microstate in World Cup qualifying in November had "nothing to do with professional football".

Real Madrid midfielder Kroos believes his international colleague has a point, but would not wish to deny 'lesser' countries the chance to reach major tournaments.

"Such games as the one against San Marino could be cut, maybe UEFA and FIFA can think of something," he told Kicker.

"It does not have to go without qualification, but the groups can be scaled down if they are pre-qualified for the smaller nations."

Kroos also sees room for calendar savings at club level.

"[There is] potential to cut a few games, especially where the domestic cup has got a first and a second leg. This is not reasonable," he added.