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Cementing your place in the midfield of one of the biggest clubs in the world is no easy task.
However, to do so, and become a mainstay of the team while enjoying one of their most decorated stints in recent history, is a whole new level.
Toni Kroos celebrated his 300th appearance for Real Madrid on Saturday night, and while a 0-0 draw with Osasuna was not an appropriate tribute to the German midfielder, the scale of his success in Spain should not go unnoticed.
While Los Blancos are undoubtedly one of the most entertaining factions to watch from afar, being an avid fan of them must feel like torture at times. sometimes he has an uncanny knack for moonlighting like a football circus.
Yet amid all the turmoil, drama and turmoil, since 2014 Kroos has sat in the eye of the storm, providing a reassuring influence alongside Luka Modric as the pair have led Real to glory. And what’s best, they have done it with style.
To who 90min, the quality and winning mentality of the German does not go unnoticed, with Kroos being named the best central midfielder in our recent Welcome to World Class series and yet it seems that some football fans still do not really appreciate his genius.
To be fair, the same could have been said of his midfield partner Modric a few years ago, although his Ballon d’Or award in 2018 is a pretty decent indication that you are no longer passing under the radar.
Throughout Kroos’ brilliant career, he achieved no less than five top flight titles, four Champions Leagues, five FIFA Club World Cups, more than 100 games for his country and not to mention he was crowned champion of the World Cup in 2014. Really It’s not much that I haven’t done in the game.
Yet despite the 31-year-old’s trophy-laden 13 years in senior soccer, he has only once been named in the top ten on the Ballon d’Or, having finished ninth in 2014.
Is it almost as if the football world doesn’t understand it?
Kroos is a throwback to the days gone by where the best midfielders in the world could do just about anything. He does not Yard playing alongside a player who can do a specific job such as tackle or pass or provide energy, simply because he does all of that himself; You don’t have to take anything into account when choosing your midfield partner, you just choose the other best midfielder from your squad.
Perhaps the reason he’s been so criminally undervalued throughout his career is just plain bad luck.
During his time at Bayern Munich, he shared midfield with Bastian Schweinsteiger, a hero for both the club and the country.
Following his move to Real Madrid, the club announced the signing of the 2014 World Cup Golden Boot winner James Rodríguez in a deal worth 80 million euros (71.5 million pounds), and during his stay At the Santiago Bernabéu he spent most of his time sharing the dressing room with the two of the three players crowned Ballon d’Or winners in the last 12 years.
If the fact that Kroos doesn’t demand as much attention as some of his teammates is a factor in his ability to fully control matches, we’ll never fully know.
But one thing’s for sure: Tony Kroos is an absolute superstar whose brilliance probably won’t be really appreciated until he hangs up his boots. But not for us, we see you, Toni.