Just as Germany take over from Spain as kings of world football, Real Madrid go and snatch one of our star players with undue haste. Toni Kroos was being unveiled at Real Madrid before the World Cup hangover had disappeared. Mine that is, not Spain’s.
Alas, a shame though it is to see one of Bayern Munich’s shining lights head to the Bernabeu, you cannot stand in the way of a player’s dream. I wonder if it may have been different had his sloppy header in the final been converted by Argentina’s Gonzalo Higuain?
And of course Kroos’ contract was due to expire at the Bundesliga champions next summer anyway. He will be fondly remembered for his contribution to the three Bundesliga titles won in the past four seasons – and for being part of the historic treble-winning side of 2012-13.
Kroos made 173 Bundesliga appearances, netting 23 goals. His trophy haul now includes a World Cup, a Champions League medal, a Club World Cup, UEFA Super Cup, those three Bundesliga titles and as many German Cups.
As he waved at fans during that incredible homecoming in Berlin this week, he was both acknowledging the famous World Cup win and saying his own goodbye to German football.
“I know this is the correct decision and I’m very proud to have made it,” he said. “I cannot think of anything more wonderful than being here. This is the biggest club in the world. In 2013 I won the Champions League and in 2014 Real won it, and I hope we can win it again next year. I hope to be able to return the confidence this club has shown in me.”
Well, something to smile about in Spain after a long hard summer! They have Luis Suarez plus baggage in Barcelona. Now Real are in Kroos control.