It must have been a tough 2014 for Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos. A Bundesliga title, won in record time under new coach Pep Guardiola, a World Cup winners medal for Germany during the summer followed by a move to Real Madrid after being courted by almost all of Europe’s elite. At the age of 24, life must have seemed pretty good.
Of course, all of the success that Kroos enjoyed last year was a reflection of his incredible ability aligned with a desire to be as successful as he possibly can be. A wonderful midfield player with a range of passing very few can better.
Following on from their ‘la decima’ celebrations last May, Real Madrid surprisingly decided to sell both Xabi Alonso and Angel Di Maria. Both were instrumental in their success against city neighbours Atletico in the final and the departures of both were unexpected to say the least. However, the pursuit of Kroos had been on going for some time and with the chance to add one of Europe’s best midfielders Madrid had made up their mind.
Having developed through the Bayern youth set up, from the age of 16, playing for a big club with big expectations was nothing new to the German international. Indeed, at his press conference, he remarked that playing with the pressure at Madrid would be an even bigger challenge to the one he faced at Munich. It certainly seemed that the deal was going to be beneficial to both parties from the outset.
With an attacking array such as Real’s, there is a definite need to have someone to pull the strings. Over at bitter rivals Barcelona, they have had Xavi Hernandez conducting the play throughout their successful period a few seasons ago and the position has become an integral part of the modern game. The ability Kroos has to pick a pass and execute it perfectly is something that can only help the likes of Bale, Benzema and Ronaldo to score more regularly.
However, there were certainly some doubts about how good Real could be defensively without Alonso sitting in front of the back four. Throughout his time at Tottenham, Modric was never known as fantastic defensive player and Kroos’ game is based more around attacking than defending.
However, a good understanding appeared to be developing before Modric sustained an injury that would keep him out of the side. Despite this initial fear though, Madrid managed a winning streak of 22 games and demonstrated that their midfield was more than capable.
The start to 2015 has been somewhat indifferent for Real Madrid, but Kroos has remained consistent despite some of the players around him. It seems likely that the summer may bring some changes in personnel at the Bernabeu, but the German’s future looks incredibly secure.
At 24, he has been brought to the club to be the mainstay of the midfield for a decade and so far he has looked a very good buy.
Written by Andy Hunter
Follow Andy on Twitter @hunter67980
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