ZFirst of all, Robin Koch was asked about the Chancellor. On Thursday evening there had been a switch between Berlin and Herzogenaurach, which Koch was able to report on the following day, but hardly went beyond a few polite words. A little later, Koch was asked about Toni Kroos. Was it really that difficult to take the ball from him? The defender from Leeds United, who is in his first tournament with the national football team, became very specific. Yes, that is not only the case when you see Kroos from above.
“For me Toni is the player who is the hardest to separate from the ball,” said Koch, and you could literally feel that in his words. “He’s always calm. You can also play him when he has three opponents around you, he still brings the right pass. In this form, I have never seen a player in club life or otherwise who is so good in this area. “
Keeper of the ball
When it comes to Kroos’ style of play, the description is sometimes narrowed down to his art of passing, for example those changes of side that fly over 40, 50 meters and land with centimeter accuracy in front of the foot of the other player, or the short passes, those impulses that with metronomic precision Being able to set the pace, Spanish school, brought to excellence by a German who learned to play football in Greifswald.
But that would all be only half the story. Kroos’ game is not about what he does with the ball, but about the circumstances under which he does it. That every ball is in good hands with him. It is a quality that can be worth gold for a team. Bastian Schweinsteiger, for example, was one of those keepers of the ball, and maybe that was just as important for winning the 2014 World Cup as the fighting spirit that left him with bloody marks in the final: a big brother you can rely on when there is danger Default is.
On Tuesday, at the start of the European Championship, the Germans will have to deal with the most dangerous boys (9:00 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the European Football Championship, on ZDF and on MagentaTV) that exist in world football. The 31-year-old Kroos spoke about the duel with the French on Friday in the quarter in Herzogenaurach in a way that you know from him, among his 102 international matches you would have to look for quite early ones to – maybe – something like excitement to discover with him.
He reported how his colleagues dived into the tunnel at very different times, some two days before the game, some an hour or two before the game, some just as the game started. How it was with him, he said, “one or the other can imagine”. One could also say: There is no opponent that Kroos fears, not even the French, even if they are the “top favorite”. “I will never start a tournament thinking that a narrow loss would be okay too. If this is the case at some point, then I will not come any more. “
“My feeling is very good”
What Kroos does fear, however, is if one’s own role is misjudged. Just like before the 2018 World Cup, when he already had the feeling in March that the team was “being made better than it is”. In the training camp before the unsuccessful excursion to Russia, he was asked to answer a questionnaire who would be the biggest opponent in the tournament. He said: Maybe we are ourselves.