Toni Kroos is a Champions League and World Cup winner, but he will be under pressure at Real Madrid.
That’s the opinion of former Germany international defender Christoph Metzelder, who was on the books of the Spanish and European giants between 2007 and 2010.
‘It would have been better for Kroos had Alonso stayed’, the 33-year-old told Kicker. ‘Now people will start saying Alonso would have done better if Kroos disappoints. Kroos will have to get used to the fact that Madrid prefer defensive stability over entertaining fans’.
Kroos was signed by Madrid from Bayern Munich for a reported transfer fee of €25 million just days after playing a key role in Germany’s triumph at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The 24-year-old is widely regarded as one of the best players in the world and is a ‘complete’ midfielder, and he will be a regular starter for Madrid under coach Carlo Ancelotti.
Given the recent departure of former Liverpool star Xabi Alonso to Bayern for a reported €10m, Kroos could be asked to play in the Spain international’s position in central midfield with his main task being to stop the opposition’s play.
Kroos can do that, but the German star’s propensity is to play the ball forward and move himself forward too. Luka Modric had a great season for Madrid in 2013-14 and remains a superb midfielder, but he too is a more forward-moving player.
One solution for Ancelotti would be to deploy Sami Khedira in defensive midfield, but that could create problems in accommodating Modric, Kroos and James Rodriguez in the same line-up – Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale are pretty much set in the three-pronged attack.
Did Real Madrid make a mistake in selling Xabi Alonso?