Germany

Centurion Kroos the anchor for club and country

Toni Kroos in his 100th cap against Switzerland
© imago images
  • Toni Kroos earned his 100th Germany cap against Switzerland on Tuesday
  • Made his international debut in a 1-0 defeat to Argentina on 3 March 2010 in Munich
  • Only German player to win the Champions League four times

Toni Kroos was in the spotlight once again on Tuesday evening when he made his 100th international appearance in the 54th meeting between Germany and neighbours Switzerland.

“Obviously it’s nice to have played in 100 international games,” the 30-year-old told Bild. “It’s something special because it’s a sign that things haven’t gone too badly, if you’ve played that much. It’s a good number, a round number. Having said that, I won’t dwell on it too much because the European Championship is what we’re thinking about. And regardless of whether you’ve got 100 caps or not, we want to keep being successful.”

In individual terms, Kroos is one of the most decorated German footballers of all time, and arguably the most successful since the era of Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Muller, who won three successive European titles at club level, and also tasted glory at the European Championship and FIFA World Cup™.

Kroos has not managed to get his hands on a continental prize with Germany yet, but will attempt to do so again next year. However, his four Champions League triumphs are something no other German player has ever achieved.

Toni Kroos of Germany celebrates with Joachim Low following the win over Sweden
© Getty Images

Toni Kroos by numbers

  • 2014 World Cup winner
  • 4 x UEFA Champions League winner
  • 2 x Spanish champion
  • 2 x Spanish Super Cup winner
  • 3 x German champion
  • 3 x DFB Cup winner
  • 5 x FIFA Club World Cup winner
  • 4 x UEFA Supercup winner
  • 1 x German Supercup winner

If you've seen Toni in recent years, you can see that there has been consistent development from 2010 until now. The way he shows consistency and class is unique. No matter what games he plays, he shows no signs of nervousness. He trusts in his own strengths - and that is one of his great attributes.

Germany coach Joachim Low

A majestic Metronome

Kroos was born in Greifswald in 1990 during the final few months of the former East German regime. He is very much a child of a reunified Germany though, and after a spell at Hansa Rostock he joined Bayern Munich. Wherever he has been throughout his career, be it on loan at Bayer Leverkusen or ultimately as a mainstay at Real Madrid, his coaches have always relied on Kroos’ qualities. Those are perhaps not easy to identify at first glance, as he is not the kind of player to score lots of goals from distance, nor someone who regularly provides assists.

Instead, Kroos is the kind of player who makes a team tick. He dictates the tempo, leads his team-mates by example and is constantly available for the ball – earning himself the nickname 'The metronome' as a result. One of his chief assets is the ability to receive a poor pass under pressure and to still find a way of retaining possession.

“We don’t need to talk about his quality,” said Bayern midfielder Leon Goretzka. “He’s won almost everything there is – except the European Championship. He’ll give his all to win that one. I’m really pleased for him that he’s earned his 100th cap. He’s not your typical ‘aggressive leader’, but he’s an unbelievable anchor in the game.

"He always wants to have the ball and he always finds a solution. It’s really, really impressive. He’s incredibly important to have at a tournament because it means we’ve got someone who knows how to win titles. He’s there for the team in difficult situations. Those are the kinds of things I’d like to adopt into my game too.”

Having won everything there is to win at club level, a second major title with Germany would crown his career.

16

Kroos is the 16th player to make it into Germany's 100 club. The list is headed by the team's most-capped player, Lothar Matthaus, who earned an impressive 150 caps and took part in a joint-record five FIFA World Cups.

Explore this topic

Recommended Stories