Breaking News: World Cup hero Toni Kroos returns to the DFB team

Breaking News: World Cup hero Toni Kroos returns to the DFB team

“Short and painless” World Cup hero Toni Kroos returns to the DFB team

February 22, 2024, 2:29 p.m

Toni Kroos played 106 games for the German national football team; after the disappointing European Championship 2021, the 2014 world champion is resigning from the DFB team. Now the midfielder has announced his return.

In 2014 he was one of the World Cup heroes in Rio, in 2021 he said an inglorious farewell – now Toni Kroos is suddenly the great German European Championship hope again. 968 days after his last of 106 international matches, the 34-year-old Real Madrid professional is returning to the fallen German national football team – and is expected to lead them to new heights at the home EURO.

“Guys, short and painless: I will play for Germany again from March,” Kroos wrote on Instagram in the afternoon and answered the most important question himself: “Why? Because I was asked by the national coach, I’m up for it and I’m sure I’ll do it The team at the European Championships is capable of much more than most people believe!” End of announcement.

“He was always top class”

This means that the midfielder will be in national coach Julian Nagelsmann’s squad for the international matches in Lyon against France on March 23rd and three days later in Frankfurt against the Netherlands. The coach opened the door for Kroos, with whom he shares an advisor, in December during an appearance on ZDF’s current sports studio. Before the Champions League game with Real at RB Leipzig last week, Kroos spoke about the “possibility” of returning. After the meeting, however, he said he wished someone would make the difficult decision for him.

Four months before the start of the home European Championships, the discussion has now really begun. Does that really make sense? In what role? As a regular passing machine, like when you won the title in Brazil? Or rather as the experienced leader of a new generation? Can Toni Kroos still do what he did at 24 at 34?

For a man who likes to raise his eyebrow prominently before answering, that’s not a question. Real coach Carlo Ancelotti emphasized that he couldn’t say whether Kroos was having his best season in Madrid, but “his pass rate is the same as ten years ago. He was always top class.” Kroos can continue to “control the rhythm” and is in “very good form,” said Ancelotti: “He always delivered. His level was always high.” Kroos himself emphasized that he was very motivated and that his “hunger” was still huge.

“Let yourself be surprised”

Kroos would certainly be suitable as a metronome for a midfield in which Jamal Musiala and Florian Wirtz are waving their magic wand up front. As a project work: After all, the national coach himself doesn’t yet know what will happen after the European Championships – and Kroos’ contract with Real is also expiring.

“I’m very far,” Nagelsmann said recently about his squad mosaic for the home European Championships, “let’s be surprised.” Kroos’ surprise is no longer that big. “He is still a world-class player who is capable of powerful things,” said sports director Rudi Völler. The shoe does not press “quite as extreme” in the midfield. Nevertheless, Kroos could help.

A look at the statistics shows how influential Kroos still is, at least for Real: 24 out of 25 possible league games, seven assists, six out of seven games in the Champions League. Kroos plays efficiently, confidently, and in the best sense of the word, he is gentle on his body; he is almost never injured. “I’m physically fit,” he said. However, he is “definitely not the savior. Everyone can say goodbye to that straight away,” said Kroos in his podcast “Just Lup”: “You shouldn’t think that this trick will make us favorites. That’s nonsense.”

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