Toni Kroos, rated one of Germany's most talented
youngsters, has already signed professional forms and appeared for
Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga and the UEFA Cup at the age of just
17. The starlet added another accomplishment to his record today
when he attended the FIFA World Player Gala 2007 at the Zurich
Kroos was honoured for his dazzling displays at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Korea 2007, where he spearheaded Germany's charge to third place and was named Player of the Tournament.
The up-and-coming midfielder took time out for an exclusive chat with FIFA.com, reflecting on the most eventful year of his career to date.
What have been your personal highlights this year?
It all started in the middle of the year with the successful World Cup in Korea, and continued with my first appearances as a professional with Bayern. Each and every one of those has been a highlight.
Thinking back to the FIFA U-17 World Cup Korea 2007, what are your memories of the tournament?
There aren't really any specific incidents, it's more the tournament as a whole. I have very fond memories, because we were tremendous as a team, we gave a good account of ourselves, and we deserved to finish third. Our performances in the group and against the USA were excellent, but Nigeria deservedly knocked us out at the semi-final stage. But despite the defeat, we probably achieved more than was expected of us, and we're very pleased with what we did achieve. The tournament was obviously a great success for me personally as well.
You've come here to the FIFA World Player Gala as a 17-year-old to collect an award as best player at a FIFA World Cup, so what can you hope to add to that over the next few years?
It's an honour to be here in Zurich and I'm enjoying it. Naturally, I've set my sights high for the future. The players you see here this evening who've been shortlisted for World Player of the Year are without exception in their early to mid-twenties, which means I have six or seven years to reach their standards. But I'd like to arrive at that point even earlier if possible.
Let's cast an eye forward to 2008...
I think my performances for Bayern so far should get me more time on the field, because I've been working hard and putting myself forward. With the squad we have, we're aiming to win the German league title and go as far as we can in the UEFA Cup, and I think we'll achieve our goals.