Looking back at Toni Kroos' illustrious career
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Looking back at Toni Kroos' illustrious career

08/07/24 20:24

Toni Kroos in Retrospect

July 5th 2024, the date that officially marked the end of Toni Kroos’ football career. After 17 years, the German international made the decision to hang up his boots and there can be no debating that he is simply one of the greatest midfielders to ever grace the football pitch. Primarily being deployed as a central midfielder but at times moving into both attacking and defensive roles.

He retires as the most decorated German footballer of all time and one of the most decorated footballers period after accumulating 34 titles in his illustrious career. Read on as we take a look back at where it all began for Kroos and how he got to where the legendary position he retired in.

1997-2014: Youth career and Bayern Munich

Born in Greifswald, Germany, Kroos began his career playing for his local team Greifswalder SC from 1997-2002 before transferring to the youth team of Hansa Rostock. He would then move to Bayern Munich’s youth system in 2006, the year before he made his senior debut.

His debut came in the Bundesliga in a 5-0 Bayern win over Energie Cottbus where appeared as a substitute and within 18 minutes had picked up two assists for Miroslav Klose goals. He was the youngest player to ever represent Bayern at the time of his debut, aged 17 years and 265 days. Before establishing himself in Bayern’s first team, Kroos had a one year loan at Bayer Leverkusen. He then returned to Munich in the summer of 2010 and was able to cement himself in the first team under the management of his former Leverkusen coach Jupp Heynckes during the 2011-12 season.

Throughout his Bayern Munich career he played in 130 games, starting in 98, picking up 13 goals and 25 assists. He was instrumental in their 2012-13 treble winning side and in total won three Bundesliga titles, three German Cups, one German Super Cup, one UEFA Super Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup.

In 2014 he departed Bayern Munich and after having a transfer to Manchester United fall through in the aftermath of David Moyes’ sacking, he headed to Real Madrid signing on a six-year deal.

2014-2024: Real Madrid

During his ten year career at the Bernabeu, Kroos was a key player in the most dominant European force the world of football has ever seen. The honours speak for themselves when it comes to Kroos and Real Madrid: four La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey, four Spanish Super Cups, five Champions Leagues, three UEFA Super Cups and five FIFA Club World Cups.

Kroos ended his Madrid career as illustrious as it began lifting both the La Liga and the Champions League titles. In 10 seasons for the Spanish side he played 306 matches, starting in 277 and accumulated 22 goals and 69 assists. Playing with stars from Cristiano Ronaldo to Luka Modric and more recently rising star Jude Bellingham.

International career

Debuting in 2010, Kroos made 114 appearances for his national team, scoring 12 goals and assisting 16 in a career that peaked with victory in the 2014 World Cup where Germany beat Argentina to lift football’s greatest trophy in Brasil.

Individual Honours

Kroos was such a talent that his individual honours list includes a whopping 27 titles, most notably German Footballer of the Year 2018, five appearances in the Champions League squad of the season, German Player of the Year 2014 and GQ German Athlete of the Year 2019.

It's been nothing but a joy to watch Toni Kroos play throughout his career and it will be a long time before we see another who has quite the impact and influence in football than he has, not to mention picking up the amount of titles that he did.

For whatever comes next for Toni Kroos, we wish him good luck, but for now let’s celebrate one of world football’s greatest midfielders.

Benji Kosartiyer
Journalist
Cameron Beards

Football Writer

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