Kroos has seen his stock increase dramatically since joining Real Madrid, with consistent displays of majestic passing of the highest order. Quality which has nullified the impact of losing such key loses as Xabi Alonso and Di Maria, who were the spine of the La Decima campaign. Xabi Alonso operated as the base of the midfield alongside Luka Modric, with the dynamic Di Maria just ahead of them. Which led to the question where was Toni Kroos going to fit?
Whilst at Bayern Munich, Toni Kroos usually operated in a more advanced position leading many to believe he was to replace Di Maria, who would offer greater accuracy but less speed and dynamism than the Argentine. However he has undertook the vacant position of Xabi Alonso who went the other way, (albeit in a separate transfer) where he has so far this season excelled in.
His calm demeanor enables him to efficiently distribute possession even under intense pressure from the opposition has been a feature of his game so far and has enabled Real Madrid to have more phases in possession with the aid of fellow midfield maestro Luka Modric. The two have forged a strong understanding in the centre of the park, masterminding control of their opponents with their intelligent play.
This was epitomised in the Clasico as Real Madrid dominated Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu, beating Barcelona style of play they have been synonymously for, registering a sort of control that we have not seen from Real Madrid in a Clasico for a long time.
His manager, Carlo Ancelotti also expressed his adulation for Kroos by stating; “Kroos is another professor. He has graduated from Xabi Alonso’s university very quickly. He surprises me because he is never worried. If he is under pressure or not, his play is always the same.”
This further reiterates the seamlessness in the transition from his former no8 position at Bayern Munich to the “10 yards back” no6 role at Real Madrid where he has taken the baton left by Xabi Alonso and ran with it so effortlessly. Nevertheless, Toni Kroos still maintains that he still possesses his attacking instinct, which leads to the question where is his best position, it at no6, no8 or no10?
Ancelotti then goes on to state “I do not know his best position. He can always improve in the position he is playing, but at this moment it is not easy to see how. He plays the ball quickly, always the right pass, he does not give the ball away, and he wins it back. Modric is also there — another complete midfielder.”
It is difficult to see any flaws in Ancelotti’s claims of having two complete midfielder’s in his side, as the two have shown defensive qualities in addition to their vast array of attacking ones. It will be interesting to see how Real Madrid will cope after the loss of Luka Modric with injury over the course of the next few months and it will also be a loss to us spectators as it robs us of the opportunity of seeing how the Kroos/Modric burgeoning partnership will develop.
However as it remains Toni Kroos is a player on top of his game at the moment and quite probably the best centre midfielder in world at this time; 2014 keeps getting better and better for Kroos.