It has been a stellar few years for Germany and Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos, who many believe to be one of the best central midfielders in the world right now.
After breaking into the Bayern Munich team as a youngster, Kroos has gone on to dominate in the Bundesliga, as well as in the Champions League, and after a brilliant World Cup he has now made the move to Spanish giants Real Madrid where he is a key player in their midfield. He has achieved all of this at just 25 years old; there are few players who have enjoyed this much success on both the domestic and international stage at such a young age.
Kroos plays with the composure of a veteran, and he excels in several areas of the game. He has fantastic vision and passing ability, and playing in the middle of the park this means he is always in the thick of the action and he is a supreme playmaker. He is also a tenacious player and one that knows how to put in a challenge, and this makes him versatile and extremely valuable for both club and country.
There have been few players that have performed as highly as Toni Kroos over the last couple of years, but there is also not a huge amount known about 25 year old.
Here are 10 interesting facts about the Germany and Real Madrid midfield master.
Image Source: Bild.
He started out at Greifswalder SC
Toni Kroos has played for Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, and lifted countless trophies in his career. It all began at Greifswalder SC in his hometown, and at aged 12 he joined Hansa Rostock’s youth team where his father was coaching. After impressing here, Bayern Munich scouts soon took notice and he was snapped up by them in 2006.
He became the youngest player to ever play for Bayern Munich professionally
After just 1 year in the Bayern Munich youth setup, Kroos had impressed enough to train with the senior team and make a few friendly appearances. He made his Bundesliga debut shortly after, coming on in a 5-0 victory over Energie Cottbus and assisting on 2 goals. This made him the youngest to play professionally for Bayern Munich at 17 years, 8 months and 22 days, but this has since become Denmark’s Pierre Hojbjerg.
He broke through on loan at Bayer Leverkusen
In 2009, Kroos was loaned to Bayer 04 Leverkusen for 18 months, and it is here where he would show his potential and become a key figure in their attack. He appeared in all but 1 game in their 2009/10 season and would win back-to-back Player of the Month awards. He finished the season with 9 goals and 12 assists in 33 matches, and upon returning to Bayern Munich he soon earned his spot in the starting line-up.
He has a son called Leon with his long term partner Jessica Farber
Kroos has been with his partner Jessica Farber for many years, and in 2013 she gave birth to their son, Leon. Unlike many other wives and girlfriends of professional footballers, Jessica Farber keeps herself to herself and keeps a low profile. She can occasionally be seen at Real Madrid and Germany matches with Leon, cheering on the talented midfielder.
He was Player of the Tournament at the U17 World Cup in South Korea in 2007
After Kroos’ hugely impressive 2014 World Cup he became one of the most talked about footballers on the planet, but it is not the first time that he has impressed on the international stage. During the 2007 U17 World Cup in South Korea, Kroos won player of the tournament and helped Germany to a 3rd placed finish whilst chipping in 5 goals. A few years later he broke into the senior team, and he made a few appearances in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
He lifted 5 trophies in 2014 with 3 different teams
2014 was a remarkable year for Kroos, and he impressively lifted 5 trophies with 3 different teams. With Munich, Kroos won the DFB Cup and Bundesliga, before having a fantastic summer and lifting the World Cup trophy. He then made a famous move to Real Madrid, where he would win the UEFA Super Cup in his debut match. To cap things off, Kroos played in the 2014 FIFA Club World Cup Final in December, beating San Lorenzo 2-0 for his 5th trophy in 2014.
This season he has a pass completion rate of 92%
Kroos is a fantastic all-round central midfielder and he excels in many areas. Most notable is his passing accuracy, and it is extremely unlike him to lose possession on a pass. This season he has a remarkable pass completion rate of 92%, and this is a combination of short passes, long balls and through balls. Having a player with such excellent passing accuracy is a luxury for a manager, as you can rely on this player to retain possession, get others involved and advance up the pitch.
He has been given the nickname “Garcon”
So brilliant is Kroos’ passing ability, that he earned the nickname “Garcon” or “The Waiter” during the summer World Cup. Kroos was feeding his teammates such appetising passes and setting them up so well throughout the tournament, that the host nation felt that he deserved the nickname after completing 76 out of 79 passes in a group match against Portugal.
Statistically he was the best player at the 2014 World Cup
According to Castrol Index (FIFA approved ranking), there was no player better in the tournament in Brazil than Toni Kroos. The criteria includes passes, tackles, ground covered and goals, with Kroos scoring a remarkable 9.79 out of 10. Kroos was in fine form throughout the competition, most notably against the host nation where he scored twice in a shock 7-1 thrashing. Despite his Castrol Index ranking and fine play, it was Lionel Messi who won the Golden Ball for the competition.
He won the 2014 IFFHS World’s Best Playmaker
There are many terrific playmakers in the world right now, including Eden Hazard, Yaya Toure, James Rodriguez, Andres Iniesta and of course Lionel Messi. None were better in 2014 than Toni Kroos however, according to the International Federation of Football History and Statistics, who crowned him the World’s Best Playmaker for the year. Kroos broke the trend of Barcelona players winning the award as they had won the last 6, and he narrowly beat Messi to the award. After such an impressive year at Munich and then on the biggest possible stage at the World Cup, it is hard to argue.