The national team coach had an “interesting idea.”
After 106 international matches, Kroos retired from the German club in 2021. But even in the fall of his career, the Greifswald native is one of the pillars of the Real Madrid team. “Tony is irreplaceable, even when he’s not playing,” the coach recently enthused.
The German Football Association also knows this. Kroos is “still a world-class player” who is still showing that he is “capable of great things, powerful things”, the sporting director of the German Football Association (DFB) said.
Maybe already for international matches in March in France and against the Netherlands? “Let yourself be surprised. We still have a little time,” coach Nagelsmann said recently at the Nations League draw in Paris.
Real coach Ancelotti: Kroos is unique
Midfield strategist Kroos no longer needs to prove anything to anyone. He is the only German player to have won the Champions League five times: four times with Real Madrid and once with Bayern Munich. The 2014 world champion is considered a royal icon.
Legendary coach Ancelotti considers his precision, calmness, control and charisma to be “unique”. Kroos is an oasis of calm, an important point of orientation, especially for the young stars around Jude Bellingham, Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior. He himself is even surprised: “My head surprises me more than my body.”
Yet Kroos sometimes gives the impression that he doesn’t feel valuable enough in Germany and is misunderstood as a “transitional Tony”. A successful mission of the European Championship as an assistant in the sporting crisis can change the situation.
Hoeneß: Kroos’ return will be ‘Titanic signal’
But opinions on this issue differ. “It would be a real Titanic signal,” Bayern backer Uli Hoeneß said of Kroos’s possible return. The veteran is “an outstanding footballer, but I don’t think he can save German football,” Hoeness continued. Jyoti Hatzialeksiou, the former head of national teams of the DFB, even spoke to t-online about the “declaration of poverty of German football.”
However, some national players in the team can imagine Kroos returning. “I’m always happy to play with Tony. If he has the desire and the time, I’m happy,” said Bayern professional Joshua Kimmich. Real colleague Antonio Rudiger is probably the most vocal supporter of Kroos’ nomination. “And if I can speak so openly and honestly: I think many people think the same way as me,” the 30-year-old footballer told Kicker before the away appearance in Leipzig.
Despite his admiration, former team boss Feller is not entirely convinced of the need for Kroos’ return. In the center of the field, the shoes “do not press as hard.” There are many good players in the DFB selection.
Record-breaking national team player Lothar Matthäus is also very sceptical. “Where should he play? If you bring back Kroos, you will automatically weaken Ilkay Gundogan, even as captain,” warned the 1990 World Cup captain. Kroos will not harmonize with either Gundogan or Kimmich in central midfield. For Matthäus, “a clear no” is the answer to Kroos’ question. But the final word goes to Julian Nagelsmann and Toni Kroos.
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