Whenever I write something about Toni Kroos, I definitely include the sentence “We are simply fortunate to have Toni Kroos play for our favorite club” in the article. I’m just finding ways to include that streak, because I feel I really owe him to him for coming to Real Madrid, and for wowing us all with his magical and elegant football. Watching him every week made us get used to his game, and we weren’t surprised by his out-of-the-world passes and touches anymore. In fact, sometimes we don’t realize his brilliance until we watch him play after a long time, and we also realize how much we miss watching him.
Since he got back on the court in October after recovering from a state of promiscuity, he’s been playing to a higher standard than anyone else and it makes us feel as if we are witnessing a living legend at his best. Every pass, every touch and every movement of Toni Kroos makes me think more and more about his brilliance. But it also leads me to one question. Where is he among the greatest midfielders in history?
Ranking players among the legends of the game is a very difficult task. Because football is a sport with a wonderful history spanning more than a hundred years. We can’t just point to one player and say that he is the best in this game because there are many such players who have accomplished a lot in their careers. Above all, it is a debate where there is no universal truth and we all just share our opinions.
For example, fans of this generation debate who the goat (the greatest of all time) is between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. It’s a personal debate and there is no clear winner, but the use of the GOAT flag is not warranted. If you go back 30-40 years, you will find people arguing about who is the greatest between Pele and Diego Maradona. And 60 years ago, you would find people hailing Alfredo Di Stefano as the best player ever.
Comparing Toni Kroos with his contemporaries is a good start
At the same time, it is difficult to compare players from different generations because the game changes from one generation to the next. And you can never compare them based on numbers because there was such a comprehensive analysis of players in the 20th century. The best thing we can do is create a segment of the greatest players of all time, as we include all those legends who have accomplished enough in their careers to be eligible to join this category.
I’m not very familiar with what a great idea I have of players from the last century, so let’s limit our history to the 21st century. And it would be unfair to write about players I haven’t seen week in week out. We have a lot of great midfielders from this same century, who stand apart from the rest and could easily enter the legendary category. Suitable players are Zinedine Zidane, Andres Iniesta, Luka Modric, Xavi, Andrea Pirlo, Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso, Paul Scholes, Frank Lampard, etc.
Does Toni Kroos fall into this category? Absolutely and there is no doubt about it. Toni Kroos is often underestimated by people, which is a very depressing sight, and there is a need for people to stop underestimating the legend of this game. We’ll find out where Toni Kroos is among the greatest midfielders, but before that let me just make it clear that some of the criteria I use here to judge players are quality of football, longevity (including physical fitness), adaptability and consistency, individual and team accomplishments.
For me, Zinedine Zidane is at the top of the list. His sheer quality is enough to make me rate him as a player above anyone else. Then he was closely followed by Andres Iniesta and Luka Modric, among whom I would like to give a slight preference to the Croatian genius. These guys are followed by Xavi Hernadez, who is followed by everyone else. At this point, some readers may want to disagree with me. I would just ask them to think about the parameters I mentioned above and remind people that the difference between the myths I mentioned is minimal.
Toni Kroos can be compared to a great competitor, Xavi
Coming to Cross Where can we arrange it? Ability wise is first class. He is currently the best passerby in the world and may well be one of the greatest passersby of all time, both in terms of sight and range. He’s not among the fastest dribblers, but he’s still an efficient dribbler who can dodge challenges with ease, thanks to his excellent touch. I would also like to point out the mental aspect of his game, as he is a very intelligent player who makes better use of his IQ, which can be understood from his game. I don’t think he’s as complete as his partner in crime, Luka Modric, but he knows how to make the most of his strength to overcome his negligible flaws, making him look like a player who doesn’t have much weakness.
Currently aged 31, he has been playing at a high level since his days at Leverkusen in 2009/10. More than 10 years at an extraordinary level, which is enough to talk about his longevity. And in terms of adaptability, he has proven himself in different clubs, different positions, and also in different systems under different coaches. He has also won every tournament in existence at the age of 28 (with the exception of the Copa del Rey title), even with his national team when he won the World Cup in 2014 as the highest-rated player in the competition.
But the aspect of that game that makes it special is its persistence. Silently records 9/10 shows each week that go unnoticed. His great persistence and ability to make the game his own, regardless of the competitor, make him stand out. It compensates for the absence of the entertainment factor, as it makes him an influential player, more than just an entertainer or a numbers player.
Given all the parameters, I would put Toni Kroos on the same footing as Xavi, who shares some similarities in gameplay. I didn’t point out any significant weaknesses but the reason I didn’t put it on top is just due to some simple reasons which are kinda hard to explain.
Somewhere I think the absence of the spotlight on Kroos and the fact that he is being criminally underestimated plays a role in why he won nothing individually. Maybe I even underestimate Kroos like the others, but I feel so selfless for being a team player who never cares about individual prizes and doesn’t care about proving something to someone that makes little difference.
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But regardless of everything else, Toni Kroos belongs in the category of greatest players of all time and is only behind a few outstanding players with marginal differences. But he still has more time on his side and looking at the way he’s playing now, I’m sure he’ll go up another step in the midfielder standings, and I hope more people realize the greatness of Toni Kroos.