Toni Kroos is one of the best midfielders in the world right and has been for some years now. Even so, in what just might have been the peak of his form, Bayern decided to let him go to Real Madrid. Everyone wondered why would they let such a remarkable player leave the team and now, his former colleague, Stefan Reinartz spoke about the hidden motives behind Kroos’s departure.
Toni’s early career
Signed by Bayern when he was only 16, and considered as a Jahrhunderttalent – “the biggest talent of the century” – when Bayern Munich bought him from the youth of Hansa Rostock in June 2006 and was quickly marked as one of the best players of his generation. The sporting director at Bayern Munich told the German media back then that he already has the number 10 jersey reserved for what will be the brightest star of modern German football. Just over a year, he had already made his first Bundesliga appearance under manager Ottmar Hitzfeld as a 17-year-old, making the leap almost a year before Thomas Müller, another big Bayern talent.
In 2007 he received the Golden Ball for being the best player at the FIFA under 17 World Cup and already looked like a world-class player. Even with such an impressive list of achievements, Toni knew it’s not easy to manage and get into Bayern’s starting eleven and, even with all his efforts, was loaned to Leverkusen for 18 months, where he grew a lot, proving everyone that he can easily be the playmaker for Bayern Munchen. Training on every day with the player’s likes of Mark van Bommel, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Tim Borowsky improved Toni Kroos playstyle and his mental abilities. The German club was now ready to let him take his shot and quickly imposed as the captain of both Bayern and the German national team. But even if he was a true leader both on the pitch and outside it, simply because he was a quiet guy that never was a fan of bold statements or wild press releases.
Was it about the money?
Stefan declared that he and Toni are friends and that it has very little to do with money. Instead, he said that Toni was aware of what Mario Gotze and other colleagues from Bayern were earning and he wanted the same treatment from the German team. According to the same source, Bayern was only willing to pay up to 10 million euro to Kroos so he decided it’s time to move on. Even more, during the negotiations for a new contract, the CEO of Bayern told Toni that they won’t be able to offer more than 10 million per year because he is not a world-class player. And that was the last drop for the player that was, and still is, one of the best midfielders in the world. Of course, he was willing to sign for even less than 10 million, however, the fact that he now knew he was not considered a top-class player, made him want to leave immediately.
Real Madrid managed the transfer of the century
Real Madrid speculated the events between Bayern and Kroos to the max and, shortly after Germany won the World Cup, they acquired the German for a tiny 25 million transfer fee, even though he was ranked around 45 million by one of the most respectable publications in the domain of transfers, trasnfermarkt.de. Even more than that, when Pep Guardiola joined Bayern, he was furious about the news that Kroos is going to leave the team, so angry and frustrated that it may have been the reason he decided not to extend his contract with the club solely because he was not involved in the decision-making regarding Toni.
On the other side, the bosses at Real Madrid couldn’t get their excitement under control because they were knowing exactly what they are buying. And Toni was the perfect player to link their brilliant attack and defensive lines. Here’s the thing with Kroos, though — he’s a different type of footballer than Casemiro or Luka Modric.
Who else other than Toni Kroos to be able to link-up players like Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo? And the German did exactly what was expected of him, easily winning his spot in the centre of Real’s midfield and coordinating the game from within like a true leader and playmaker.
Not only that, Toni also is an excellent free-kick taker – whenever he can outshine Cristiano, of course – and a great corner kick executant.
Ever since he played at Real Madrid, Kroos won two Champions League titles, several Spanish Cups, Supercups and the European Super Cup as well. Perhaps the best season since he joined was the last one when Real conquered the Champions League, League Trophy, Super Cup and the European Super Cup. Oh, I almost forgot, the Club World Cup as well so 5 out of 6 possible trophies for a fantastic year.
There’s no doubt that the German is highly valued by the Real Madrid management as he has a salary of 23.5 million euro per year and that makes him take number 8 in a top of best-paid football players in the world and the best-paid German player in history. Apparently, the likes of Real Madrid really knew to appreciate a diamond-like Kross and now they’re also determined to keep it shining.
It is not inaccurate to assert that very soon – maybe already – we can say the Bayern Munich made one of the greatest midfielders of all time and let him go.