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a month ago

Ode to the German who ruled the Football world

Thank you, Toni Kroos, the Sniper, the Cyborg, the Unicorn, the man with the grace
Thank you, Toni Kroos, the Sniper, the Cyborg, the Unicorn, the man with the grace

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I planned to write this the day he announced he would retire. I could not. I was so overwhelmed. Then I decided to write after his last match at Bernabeu. I could not. Again, I am at a loss for words. How about the UCL final? Apparently, no, as well! Could I have stared at the screen for nearly two hours as I wrote this? I am struggling to find the right words!

As my heart is still filled with pure delight and throbbing from last night's enthralling win over Dortmund, some part still feels empty. Because, as much as I tried to run from reality, this is now staring down at me. The harshest truth has finally been unboxed; I have witnessed the last match of the magician, the maestro, Toni Kroos, in our whites.

My first notable encounter with him was in 2014 before he joined Madrid. It is noteworthy because his quick double strike was a firm nail in the coffin of Germany's infamous 7-1 score against Brazil.

I hated him so much. How can I not, being a Brazil fan? When he became a Madridista, when we already had the likes of Ozil, Khedira, Modric, and Alonso just left for Bayern (which was Kroos's former club), the bar was already high! We were enamoured with Alonso, his pinpoint long balls, and his midfield dominance. Kroos indeed had his work cut out for him. And then, what happened in the following years was pure magic mixed with some dark arts.

At this point, I am feeling disoriented. We Madridistas joked that Kroos would retire before Modric. But did we mean it? No! If we had the chance, we would continue to have both of them for eternity and not be tired!

Nevertheless, deep inside, we knew—we always knew. Kroos, being the person he is, will go out on top. I still remember that, in 2021, people bash him and say things like he is finished. Boy, oh boy, did he prove them wrong or what?

As I am writing this, several iconic moments come to my mind. Be it the two quick strikes against Brazil in 7-1, the freekick at the World Cup with Reus, the several times he signalled Vinicius, even directing which direction to run, the 60-yard assist, again for Vini against Liverpool, or scoring directly from the corner, in all its entirety, one word comes to my mind.  

I can summon Peter Drury or Sid Lowe into my writing with the entire masterstroke they do with their commentary or reporting. However, I want to introduce Kroos to anyone who needs help understanding the critical aspects of football and enjoys the game rather than diving deep into the analytical side of it.

Be it sending his marker in the wrong direction and thus leaving the said marker in complete disarray, receiving the ball with his deft touches, or floating the ball into space with his pinpoint-accurate passes (therefore earning the name Sniper), everything about him has this typical German precision with the perfect Renaissance-like art.

We all remember some hilarious ball control of Lukaku(read: Lakaka), and we know how it is anything but easy. While it is a matter of seconds, Kroos has minutes, nay, and hours to decide and put the ball in the right direction at the right pair of feet.

The entire team know, just like the Coldplay song Fix You, Lights will guide you home, and here the said light is Toni-freaking-Kroos. On top of it, his partner in crime is Luka Modric, another game artist. Together, these two bring the calm to the chaos, or if needed, create the chaos to the bland calmness! What other word can I use other than grace?

In my personal life, I am an ardent fan of Cristiano Ronaldo for his ability never to give up and relentlessly innovate himself. Regarding Kroos, I channel his ability to find solutions where others see problems. The team seemed clueless whenever the stakes were high; they turned to Kroos, and he always had an answer.

The pressure puts up a wall; the two maestros stand tall, and they wave their magic wands and wham. An orchestra is put to order with such grace, which will put the muses to shame. 6 Champions League. Not 1, not 2, but 6 UCL in 9 years. Heck, Jamie Carragher is a renowned Pundit with shit predictions and baseless analogy, but his one lucky UCL puts him in the line of greats, imagine someone with 6!

That is precisely the German who accomplished what another infamous German wanted to do 79 years back: rule over Europe and then the world. Thank you, Toni Kroos, the Sniper, the Cyborg, the Unicorn, the man with the grace.

 

The writer is an engineer turned finance enthusiast, trying to drink gulps from the immensely stimulating ocean of finance/economics/world of business besides his regular job in the capital market. Now that he is overwhelmed with football calm him down at [email protected]

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