- Category : Footballer
- Type : GP
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Individualism 2
Toni Kroos (born 4 January 1990) is a German footballer who plays for Spanish club Real Madrid and the German national team as a midfielder.
A member of Bayern Munich's first team at the age of 17, Kroos became a regular after an 18-month loan spell at Bayer Leverkusen, and won honours including three Bundesliga titles and the 2013 Champions League. After winning the World Cup in 2014, he joined Real Madrid on a six-year contract. He has been praised by journalists and former professionals as a player with all the qualities for the role of an attacking midfielder.
Kroos made his full international debut in 2010 and was a member of the German squads which reached the semi-finals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2012. He was also part of the team that won the 2014 FIFA World Cup, becoming the first footballer born in East Germany to win the competition.
Kroos first played for local club Greifswalder SC, later transferring to the youth team of Hansa Rostock. Kroos moved to Bayern Munich's youth setup in 2006. Kroos was missing up to 40 days during the school year due to training.
For the 2007–08 season, at the age of 17, Kroos was promoted to Bayern's senior team. He made an astounding start to his Bundesliga career, making his debut for Bayern on 26 September 2007 in a 5–0 defeat of Energie Cottbus and twice assisting Miroslav Klose goals within 18 minutes of his appearance as a substitute. At the time of his debut, Kroos was the youngest player ever to represent Bayern in a professional match at 17 years, eight months and two days old; a record since broken by David Alaba in 2010.
On 25 October, Kroos earned Bayern a valuable victory away to Red Star Belgrade on his UEFA Cup debut, coming on as a substitute in the 81st minute and providing an assist for Miroslav Klose and then scoring the winning goal, his first for the club, in stoppage time. He made his first start for the club in a 3–1 defeat away at VfB Stuttgart.
Kroos ended his first season with 20 appearances for Bayern, including six starts. He also scored three goals in 12 appearances for Bayern Munich II in the Regionalliga Süd.
Despite being selected to start in Bayern's opening Bundesliga match against Hamburger SV, Kroos appeared less frequently for die Roten during the first half of the 2008–09 season. However, on 5 November 2008, he made his Champions League debut as a 79th minute substitute against ACF Fiorentina in matchday four of the group stage.
Loan at Bayer Leverkusen
On 31 January 2009, Bayern allowed Kroos to join Bayer 04 Leverkusen on an 18 month loan to gain first team experience.
On 28 February 2009, Kroos made his first appearance for Bayer Leverkusen as a substitute in a 1–0 defeat against Hannover 96. On 12 April, he made his first Bundesliga start for Leverkusen, assisting the team's goal in a 1–1 draw with SV Werder Bremen. On 18 April 2009, he scored his first Bundesliga goal in a 2–1 loss to VfL Wolfsburg.
On 30 May, Kroos appeared as a late substitute in the 2009 DFB-Pokal Final against Bremen, where Leverkusen were beaten 1–0 by a Mesut Özil goal.
During the 2008–09 season, Kroos made 13 appearances for Leverkusen in all competitions, scoring once.
Kroos established himself as a regular in the Leverkusen team in 2009–10, appearing all but one of Bayer's Bundesliga matches. Between matchdays 16 and 20, Kroos registered five goals and four assists in five Bundesliga matches, earning him back-to-back "player of the month" awards from kicker for December 2009 and January 2010.
He ended the season with nine goals and 12 assists from 33 matches.
In the summer of 2010, on the expiration of his loan at Bayer Leverkusen, Kroos returned to Bayern Munich. When asked about his first team chances with Bayern, runner-up in the previous season's Champions League, Kroos stated: "I want to play as often as possible!"
On 16 August 2010, he started against TSV Germania Windeck in the first round of the DFB-Pokal, scoring the third goal in a 4–0 victory. On 29 October 2010, he scored his first league goal for the club, in a 4–1 win for the Bavarians against SC Freiburg. During the 2010–11 season, Kroos was a regular starter for Bayern in the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League. He ended the season with 37 appearances in all competitions.
During 2011–12, under Jupp Heynckes, his former coach at Leverkusen, Kroos established himself as a first choice player from Bayern, forming a strong midfield partnership with national team colleague Bastian Schweinsteiger. He played 51 matches in all competitions during the season, including the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final, where Bayern were beaten on penalties by Chelsea at the Allianz Arena.
Kroos was an important member of Bayern's treble winning team during the 2012–13 season. As the most advanced member of a midfield containing Schweinsteiger and Javi Martínez, Kroos scored three goals in the team's opening four Bundesliga matches. He also scored his first Champions League goal in Bayern's opening group match against Valencia CF. After sustaining an injury in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final against Juventus, Kroos was unavailable for the remainder of the season, missing Bayern's successes in the 2013 UEFA Champions League Final, the 2013 DFB-Pokal Final and the last seven matches of the Bundesliga season.
Kroos returned to fitness for the start of the 2013–14 season and, on 4 October 2013, scored his first goal of the season in a 1–1 draw against former club Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga. On 21 December 2013, he started for Bayern in the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup Final as the team beat Raja Casablanca 2–0.
On 19 February 2014, Kroos scored his second goal of the season in a 2–0 Champions League win against Arsenal. On 25 March, he scored in a 3–1 win over Hertha BSC as Bayern were confirmed as Bundesliga champions.
On 17 July 2014, Real Madrid announced that they had reached an agreement for the transfer of Kroos, signing a six-year deal for an undisclosed fee. The press reported that Kroos had cost between €25 million and €30 million. Kroos became the ninth German player, after Günter Netzer, Paul Breitner, Uli Stielike, Bernd Schuster, Bodo Illgner, Christoph Metzelder, Mesut Özil, and Sami Khedira, to join Real Madrid. At his presentation in front of 8,000 supporters, he stated how Real Madrid are the "biggest club in the World" and are a "cut above Bayern." He played in his debut match against Sevilla FC in the 2014 UEFA Super Cup on 12 August 2014; winning his first trophy at Real Madrid.
In the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup, Toni Kroos was awarded the Golden Ball as the tournament's best player and also won the Bronze Shoe after scoring five goals. Kroos' debut for the national U-21 team came on 5 September 2008 in a 2009 Euro U-21 Championship Qualifier against Northern Ireland and scored the opening goal in the 11th minute, his second goal for the U-21 side was goal in Germany's 1–0 win over Italy, a precise long-range shot in the angle. It came as a surprise that coach Horst Hrubesch left him out of Germany's U-21 squad for Euro 2009, and Germany went on to win the tournament without him.
2010 World Cup
In January 2010, Kroos was called up to the senior Germany team for the first time, for a training session in Sindelfingen and was named in the squad for the following match, a friendly against Argentina on 3 March 2010, in which he subsequently made his debut for the national side.
Kroos was selected to Joachim Löw's 23-man squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. He made his FIFA World Cup debut in Germany's final group-stage match versus Ghana, coming on in the 80th minute for Bastian Schweinsteiger, with Germany leading 1–0. He made further appearances as a substitute in the quarter-finals against Argentina, in the semi-finals against Spain and in the third place play-off against Uruguay.
Kroos established himself as a regular starter in Germany's qualification campaign for UEFA Euro 2012, playing in eight out of a possible ten games. Germany won all ten qualifying matches to top group A. After qualification was already ensured, Kroos scored his first two international goals, both with his strong right foot. Notably, both Kroos' goals were Germany's first after falling behind in the respective matches, both of which were drawn away friendlies, against the two Euro 2012 hosts – Poland and Ukraine. National coach Joachim Löw also praised him: "How Toni distributes the ball, how he receives it, is very good. He's technically excellent ... He has made progress in the last few matches, I'm extremely satisfied with the player".
At the tournament finals, Kroos appeared as a substitute in all three of Germany's Group B matches. For the semi-final match against Italy, Löw selected the naturally attacking Kroos to man mark Italy's playmaker Andrea Pirlo. The decision was heavily criticised as Germany lost the match 2–1.
2014 World Cup
During Germany's 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign, Kroos scored his first two competitive international goals in a 6–1 win over Ireland in Dublin. On 6 September 2013, he scored the team's second goal in a 3–0 win over Austria.
Kroos was named in Germany's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. In the team's opening match, a 4–0 defeat of Portugal, Kroos started in midfield and assisted Mats Hummels for Germany's second goal. In the semi-final against the host nation Brazil, Kroos scored two goals two minutes apart (24' and 26') in Germany's 7–1 win. He also recorded his fourth assist of the tournament, crossing for Thomas Müller's opening goal, and was named man of the match by FIFA. Kroos has been nicknamed Garçon by the Brazilians for precisely delivering most passes to the strikers.
On 11 July, Kroos was named on the 10-man shortlist for FIFA's Golden Ball award for the tournament's best player.
The Castrol Performance Index, the official statistical analyser of the World Cup, rated Kroos as the best player at the 2014 World Cup, with a rating of 9.79 out of 10.
Style of play
"How Toni distributes the ball, how he receives it, is very good. He's technically excellent ... He has made progress in the last few matches, I'm extremely satisfied with the player."
–Joachim Löw, Manager of the Germany National Football Team
Kroos is known for his passing accuracy and his ability to set up goals. He has been described by Jonathan Wilson as "perhaps the archetype of the modern attacking midfielder". Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes said in 2014 that Kroos, "a top-class central midfielder", was the player that United most needed to sign.
Former Netherlands captain Johan Cruyff said of Kroos's performances at the 2014 FIFA World Cup: "He’s doing everything right: the pace in his passes is great and he sees everything. It’s nearly perfect."
Kroos was born in Greifswald, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern on 4 January 1990. He is the older brother of Felix Kroos who is a midfielder for Werder Bremen. His father Roland works as youth coach for Hansa Rostock. During his youth, he was not the most outstanding student and spent a lot of time practicing football, however, he was well-behaved in class and well liked among his peers at school. With his long-time partner Jessica Farber he has a son, Leon (born on 14 August 2013). He owns a house in Mallorca.