He’s not a dark knight, as the main character of Nolan’s famous trilogy. This German wears white, and as this film’s star (Bruce Wayne), Toni came through hard times since past season, when Lopetegui and Solari were in the bench, till this season beginning.
Toni Kroos, 29, has been one of the key pieces of Madrid’s trilogy, this one directed by Zinedine Zidane, which also includes Casemiro and Modric as the two other key pieces. He was a swiss watch on his first three seasons, when he won three UEFA Champions League, to say the least, but Toni’s performance hasn’t been so good since past season. The true is that, as Bruce Wayne had Alfred as a figure of guidance to recover his best form, Kroos has received Zizou’s help and support to reach his best level again, that one that the madridism miss. This is why he’s the midfielder with the most minutes in the team, 622 of 630 possibles.
At the beginning of this season, Kroos made a great performance in Balaidos against Celta de Vigo, and the german engine put the cherry on the cake with a great goal after shooting an uncatchable howitzer. Another great shows performed by Toni was at the Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium, against Seville, and at the Bernabéu, against Osasuna. But we have to say that both of them seem to be minimized after Kroos’ recital in the derby against Atlético de Madrid, when he was Real Madrid’s commander, as Thomas was for the colchoneros. In this match, Toni had a 94% on pass accuracy, a number which madridism was used to, until, like as when Batman fell to Bane’s prison, Kroos’ form went down in freefall. However, as Bruce Wayne did, Kroos overcame this situation surpassing himself and his own expectations.
Right now, Kroos is the third player with most completed passes, only behind Pique and Lenglet, whom as centre-backs have more contact with the ball to start playing from the defense. After Toni, there’s another defender, Pau Torres (Villarreal), and it’s only in the fifth position where you can find a non-defender, beyond the german, and he is Marc Roca (Espanyol). Kroos has completed 395 passes in 426 attempts, which means a 92.72% on his pass accuracy, the higher percentage in the top-5 of this individual statistic.
Beyond Kroos’ passing accuracy, he has made an important offensive contribution. He has shot 12 times, which means one shoot every 50 minutes. This could be a small thing, but it is not if we take in count Kroos’ performance in the past season, when he didn’t even could score one single goal in 28 appearances. This year he already scored in the first match against Celta.
Now, Real Madrid seems to have back its white knight after his rise. Passing, play-making, order, defensive support and attacking contribution to his teammates. The best Kroos seems to be back, but we will have to wait for this rising to be something permanent, so it will be solid, as the club’s overall performance. Nevertheless, this club will dance to Toni’s rhythm. If he’s good, the rest of the team will be as well. For now, the white knight rises.
Photo: OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP/Getty Images