In 2007, Toni Kroos was awarded the Golden Ball at the U17 World Cup. He had led the German team to a bronze medal and scored 5 goals, the 3rd joint highest tally. Other high performers include Nigerian striker, Macauley Chrisantus (Now at Sivasspor in Turkey) Bojan Krkic (Ex Barcelona, AS Roma and Ajax, now of Stoke) and Ransford Osei (Asante Kotoko). That roll call is a great indicator of the slippery slope that is youth level football and how success at that level does not necessarily translate to the big time. Some players struggle, Toni Kroos doesn’t. It also underlines the depth of Kroos’ talent that 7 years later, he stands as one of the best players of this age and a World Cup champion. At 24, he has won everything there is whilst playing a significant role. It can also be said that his standing as the premier central midfielder is a metaphor for the passing of the baton from the Spanish to the Germans as the dominant force in world football. Toni Kroos is treading the path laid by the likes of Xavi and Xabi Alonso.
As with the other Bayern players on this list, his domestic form is worth a place on this list. Until they were destroyed by Ancelloti’s Madrid juggernaut, Kroos was being spoken of as possibly the finest midfielder about. His crowning glory coming in the World Cup semi final demolition of Brazil. Cometh the hour, cometh the man and all that. And when, it was clear that Bayern would not be giving in to his wage demands, he turned up at Madrid prompting the Political Commentator, Janan Ganesh to tweet:
Madrid will get Kroos for £20m as he is running down his contract at Bayern. As investments go, that’s like buying a house in London in 1995 — Janan Ganesh (@JananGanesh) July 8, 2014