Toni Kroos has been billed as the youthful gem of German football for some time, and many argue he could one day attain world class status. Still just 20, he already boasts an enviable career record. Born in Greifswald to a sporting family, he turned down numerous offers to move abroad in summer 2006 and switched instead from Hansa Rostock to the Bayern Munich academy. He went on to win the adidas Golden Ball as best player at the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2007 in Korea, where he led the German juniors to third spot.
Bayern quietly and carefully nurtured Kroos in the hope of ending up with the next German superstar, but the plot took an unexpected twist after Jurgen Klinsmann’s arrival at the Munich helm. The technically gifted midfielder’s development stalled, and he was sent out on loan to Bayer Leverkusen.
Kroos finally burst onto the Bundesliga scene in a big way last season. Scheming and prompting from midfield, he began dictating the pace of matches as a matter of routine. He scored vital goals too, and his work-rate was substantial as Leverkusen arrived at the midpoint of the season unbeaten and top of the league. A genuinely modest and retiring character away from the field of play, Kroos was named Bundesliga Player of the Month in December 2009, and his name was increasingly linked with the senior Germany team.
The 1.82 metre man duly earned a first full cap in March 2010 in a 1-0 friendly defeat to Argentina in Munich. Kroos, who returns to Bayern from his loan period with Leverkusen this summer, is unlikely to play a central role at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, but boss Joachim Low might just turn to his creativity and shooting skill if he wishes to switch things around in a tight spot. Regardless of his experiences at South Africa 2010, the player is a solid bet for a bright future.