Discussion in 'Football Forum' started by Edgar Allan Pillow, Dec 3, 2018.
40 minutes of flatline with one aimless pulse played out to the far side of the monitor?
Player Lesser Other Men Praise
Agreed that Modric was one of the best in the last WC. But I just don't think he was the definite best player. The last WC saw the likes of England could go all the way to SF, with such an underwhelming team.
Anyway, I am Modric fan, and had created some thread about him. Agreed that he has to be one of the greatest CM. This Ballon d'Or just a mere official stamp, imho.
Well Fergie said he thought he was his player of the season in 2011. or 2012. He wasn't always right, but he definitely wasn't far off, so the difference between Modric and Schweinsteiger was nowhere near as it is now however you look at it.
I actually do think Modric was better than Bastian. But for me he quite obviously jumped up to a different level after joining Madrid. He was still a excellent player in the PL.
In the PL Arsenal's Fabregas was a better player than Spurs' Modric for me. And Fabregas was also never the best player in the PL.
So he was better than Schweinsteiger who played a big part in a club team that reached two UCL finals during that period and a national team that reached two semi-finals?
Schweinsteiger at the 2010 World Cup was of the highest quality. Fantastic individual performance vs Argentina, man marked Messi out of the game and also had time to get two assists, and also got an assist on the counter versus England.
Even in the match they lost to the all-time great Spanish squad he was the only German midfielder to fight toe to toe with Xavi and Co. I remember that performance very clearly, will try to find a video and upload it. I'm really surprised people aren't mentioning Schweinsteiger in that tournament.
To be fair, I can't quite remember the times that clearly. I didn't rate Modric that high back then though, but then Fergie surprised me with his comment, so I started paying more attention, and realised that he wasn't far from truth. He was definitely very good midfielder back then, far better than anything Schweinsteiger showed in last 3 or 4 years, so my point was that Modric was on top far longer than Schweinsteiger is, IMO. Even during his best Schweinsteiger had injury/post injury periods where he wasn't much of use, I think one was close after/before(can't quite remember when exactly) 2014 World cup where he was Bayern's weakest link but was still rated very highly.
He is also rated very highly after 2014, hardly any non German fans called him close to best midfielder in the world before that, and Modric is praised as the best by many for years now.
Modric plays deeper and usually plays the pass before the assist. He's a controller and as complete a CM as you're gonna get.
And as per OP: Modric comfortably.
Yes I am. I'm not the only one on this forum who shares that opinion.
Bastian. He was more complete player imo.
Bastion was on another planet and could drive the team to wins. Modric has become so overrated and it's annoying to see even as someone who loves Modric.
Never knew Schweinsteiger had such a reputation internationally. I find it very weird that anyone considers him at the level of Modric and Kroos or even above that. For me that's like suggesting Rivaldo was better than Ronaldo. Both great players but the one is clearlybetter than the other. Schweini was maybe more complete since he would also tackle and was a real leader but footballing-wise, Kroos is heads and shoulders above him. Kroos' passing ability and pressing resistence is on a completely different level and his shot taking is also far superior. Modric on the other hand has this absolutely insane close control and the ability to free himself out of nearly any situation. IMO both players are clearly ahead of Schweini in all of the most important areas of a modern midfielder. Between Kroos and Modric it is a lot closer since they excel at different very important aspects but the Croatian edges it for me.
However, among German midfielders of the last 15 years, I'd put Kroos at the top followed by Schweinsteiger and then Ballack. However, if Gündogan had retained his 2012/2013 form instead of being ruined by injuries, he would probably sit at the first place. Was breathtaking during the time when Dortmund reached the CL final.
Modric and is not even close.
Stylistic bias? Schweinsteiger was the same player typ as Kroos. It was van Gaal who turned Schweini into a midfielder and helped him to break through in a possession oriented system and Schweini essentially played Kroos' role at Madrid. He never was a box to box type of CM. Before the WC it was always said that both players are too similar to play together. Kroos is simply superior in almost any aspect of a modern CM and it is honestly not even close. The only argument speaking for Schweinsteiger is really his leadership qualities (although Kroos stepped up in this area, too) and that is more of an intangible charactistic and nothing to judge the quality of a player on.
It's not a coincidence to me that as soon as Modric got fully integrated into Real's XI, they started to rack up CL's. When Real lost out to Juve in the 2015 semi's, they didn't have Modric in the first or second leg due to injury.
I just don't see Schweinsteiger being able to do what Modric did for Real. Just doesn't have that 5% extra genuine quality that Modric has IMO.
Schweinsteiger’s off the ball game destroys Kroos.
And Kroos is better at almost anything else.
Better in tight situations, better long shooter, far better passer and technician. Kroos is ridiculously underrated in this thread. Kroos and Schweinsteiger are quite different players, Kroos is more of a Scholes whilst Schweinsteiger is more of a Roy Keane if you like, a more dynamic player who can take the game by the scruff of the neck whilst also being a very good short passer.
Fat Basti, for sure.
They absolutely were not the same type. Kroos functioned as a CAM for the most of his carreer and even if he has moved back now he still has a defensive midfielder behind him.
I remember before the world cup final Schweinsteiger's midfield partner Khedira got injured during warmup and his replacement Kramer didn't last 30 minutes and then Schurrle was brought in, making Bastian the lone Central midfielder, with 5 offensive players in front of him (Ozil, Schurrle Kroos, Muller and Klose).
And guess what, he absolutely bossed the central midfield on his own for the remainder until 120 minutes with extra time. A performance like that Kroos could never deliver. It was probably the best midfielder performance I have seen in my lifetime in a single match. It speaks volume that after Schweinsteiger (and Lahm) left the German NT looks so much weaker even if many other players remain the same. Like many said, he was the engine, and Kroos can't seem to fulfill that role.
Off the ball movement doesn't only consist of runs into the box. Kroos' off the ball movement in the midfield is much better. Always positions himself perfectly to receive the ball, build triangles, etc.
The only thing Schweinsteiger is really superior to Kroos is his tacklings. And that wasn't a particularly strong aspect of his game either. People only seem to remember the WC final 2014. Usually you didn't really saw him fighting so many midfield battles. He was actually quite like Kroos but the latter is simply more talented - which isn't a shame, he was always considered the most gifted youth player of his generation in Germany and the first real worst class prospect since ages.
While Kroos is perhaps the more skilled footballer, Schweinsteiger had far more eagerness, drive, charisma, as well as willingness to fight against the odds.
Kroos is an incredible player, but you could always count on Schweinsteiger especially when it mattered most (aside of one pen where he hit the post). Kroos' game will be exactly the same against pretty much any opposition. That's great too. But Schweinsteiger was right there when you needed him. Additionally the Schweinsteiger/Martinez partnership in CM was incredible against the ball. There's no way that would've been the exact same with Kroos/Martinez. There's a reason why when the two were on the pitch together, Kroos was always moved forward, despite undoubtedly being a great passer from the DLP position.
That said, Kroos himself has won a World Cup and what, 4CLs? So there's no shame in saying that he's potentially better. But he's not "not even close" better if at all.
They were definitely similar. Kroos nominally played as a 10 for Bayern (mostly, not always, he also had games in CM) but everyone who saw him play knew that he was a CM through and through and also interpreted the role in this exact way - no dribblings, secondary focus on through balls but ball distribution all day long. He also switched completely to the number 8 after he moved to Madrid, at times evenplaying in a two man midfield with Modric. He was 25 at that point. Schweinsteiger played as a RW or LW until Louis van Gaal placed him in the CM and he was 25 back then, too. If anything Kroos was the natural CM and Schweinsteiger the lateral entrant, not the other way round.
And no, Kroos won't spectacularly "boss" the midfield but he will control it like few else could, often eliminating the need for such a standout performance. Ah, and as I already mentioned, the WC final was not a typical Schweinsteiger. He really grew in that game. There's a reason he was always paired with a defensive minded CM and that is that he was never as good defensively as this match made you think.
I don't want to seem like I like to downplay Schweinsteiger since he is one of my all time favourite national players but which games are you speaking of in particular? From my memory the WC final was the only big game performance I can remember in which he surpassed himself in such a manner. He of course had many good games on the big stage but so has Kroos. And one game isn't enough to justify such a claim, IMO. As I described, I don't think Schweini and Kroos are that different kind of players. They had very similar strengthes but Kroos is just more talented and still utilized this potential perfectly. I mean, they even have very similar back stories - talented youngsters that were somewhat "lazy", "lethargic" or "light hearted" until they turned it around at some point - only that Kroos made this step a little bit earlier than Bastian.
Schweinsteiger gave balance to every midfield he played in between 2009 and 2016 in a way few midfielders could in the past decades, certainly not Kroos. No matter if he played with van Bommel, Khedira, Kroos, Martinez. No matter if it was a midfield 3 with an advanced CM, a 2 behind a playmaker or a 2 behind a 2nd striker. He excelled in all those roles and became the key midfielder in those sides. Kroos needs midfielders around him to balance his weaknesses while Schweinsteiger is the exact opposite. And it's even more obvious to see in the nationalteam post 2014. Even at the Euro 2016 the difference Schweinsteiger made to the team was obvious despite him being way past his peak. Sadly he became the unlucky figure in the semifinal despite overall playing surprisingly well considering his season at United.
He was the deepest midfielder next to Khedira in a 4231 and held a rather weak defense together at the World Cup in 2010 despite his midfield partner's constant gung ho runs forward, yet still had plenty of iconic moments in attack, like the counterattack against England or the run through Argentina's defense. His performances in 2010 have become a bit overshadowed by his world cup final in 2014, but 2010 was the truely outstanding tournament by him. He rose to the occasion after Ballack's injury and took over the main leadership role in the team.
In the treble winning team he seemlessly switched between being the main distributor in midfield in a 442ish formation next to Martinez/Gustavo behind Müller and a 433 with Kroos added, where Schweinsteiger played a lot off the ball.
Then there's the obvious warrior game in the world cup final 2014, which sadly turned out to be his swan song because he ruined his body playing through too many injuries during those years.
Like many said in here, I'd take Schweinsteiger's rather short peak over Modric's, even though it's really really close. While Modric (probably) wins the (overall) comparison once you consider longevity. Kroos is a level below those two.
Luka Modric won the 2018 Ballon d'Or and because of that, at the moment, many Ronaldo fans will undermine Modric's skills and achievements therefore I am pretty sure that this survey does not represent the real opinion of football fans. Of course some people really think Schweinsteiger was a better player.
Anyway, throughout his whole career Modric has been downplayed by some/many football professionals and fans. You don't have to go beyond this forum, just read what people wrote about Modric while he was playing at Tottenham and about whether Manchester United should buy Modric (topic name: "Luka Modric / Signs for Real Madrid", Discussion in 'Football Forum' started by Sassy Colin, Dec 20, 2010.). You can find some amazingly hilarious comments there...
Even without his glorious WC 2018 and multiple the best player of the year awards, Modric has secured his place in the history of football because (just like Sergio Ramos said) Luka Modric had been backbone of one of the greatest teams ever - Real Madrid which won 4 Champions Leagues (and he played great in all 4 finals). The last 4 years widely regarded as THE BEST midfielder in the world.
Schweinsteiger (only one year older than Modric!) was a great player but even in his prime (2012/13 season?) he has never been regarded as Top 3 or even Top 5 midfielder in the world.
By the way, at Euro 2008 Modric's Croatia defeated Germany 2:1. Schweinsteiger was sent off in injury time (red card) and Modric was the best player on the pitch! Unfortunately this great 2008 Croatia team led by young Modric shockingly lost in QF...
You are probably the biggest Kroos fanboy in the world, but please be honest. He is just a fecking weird case. He could have reached Xaviesta levels, but he's a lazy bugger and after he won every title ever at the age of 24, he decided to just stockpile champions leagues and give a feck about fulfilling his talent. Still he reached unprecedented heights in terms of playmaking if we are solely talking German players. The Ronaldinho of midfield maestro's, if that makes sense. Probably not, but he's not into clubbing either, he likes to take a walk with his dogs instead.
What is wrong with him, why can't he apply himself much more? No reason why he couldn't have won more individual accolades (Ballon D'Or, Germany's footballer of the year) if we are talking just natural talent. Imagine being at the top of the game and not going that one step further to be a "super super super Spieler", if you know what I mean.
Ridiculous to say Kroos is better than Schweinsteiger. Talent wise Kroos is the most talented player I've seen come out of Germany (I retirate, I've seen, so not including anyone before 1996) and the fact that he is currently one of the best midfielders in a position that isn't even his best is testament to that. I have no issues with Kroos, he's an absolutely fantastic midfielder and will go down alongside Schweinsteiger as one of the best Germany has ever had, but still Schweinsteiger is head and shoulders better than him (Schweinsteiger, Matthaus, Ballack and then the rest).
Kroos and Schweinsteiger should not have been comparable had Kroos been allowed to play in his favourite position, it would be like asking who is better between Xavi and Iniesta. Kroos' best position has been as a CAM and he's only played in that role under Heynckes, if he was allowed to play in that role and given license to go forward then he would be taked about more than he is now.
Kroos has talent more than Schweinsteiger (won't comment about Modric) but sadly I don't think that talent has been allowed to show, but even then he's still one of the best in the world.
I've never, not once, heard of those two directly compared. They were very obviously wholly different players with wholly different remits.
If you want Kroos to drive a midfield forward, you'll be waiting till kingdom come; if you want peak Schweinsteiger to sit and recycle play, you're misusing him.
Kroos has barely taken over a game in his career - he is a cog in a functioning machine, and will go down with the ship if someone else doesn't take it over. That's an extremely important distinction at this level of midfield discussion.
Bastian, but not by much. Modric offers everything, but Bastian was the more complete player and had intangible qualities that edge it for me.
This being dead level in the poll isn't really a suprise. It's complete personal preference really.
If you prefer technical midfielders that make everything look easy with short passing and movement then you will prefer Modric. If you prefer your all action midfielder then you'd take Schweinsteiger every single time
My first reaction I went Modric, purely because still feeling disappointed at how poor BFS was for us.
Then I quickly changed my vote. BFS was a match winner and could dominate midfield.
Modric has more skill, speed and poise, but he isn't a match winner. He does make a whole side better and that counts for a lot, but his output is surprisingly lacking. For everything that Modric has to offer his assists are shockingly low and he rarely scores. For all the skills, step overs and speed I find this quite surprising and to me suggests Modric is actually overrated.
The Balon D'or proves the over rating. Modric wasnt a patch on Messi, Ronaldo, Griezmann or Salah. And maybe even Icardi who is consistently smashing it in Italy. Kane despite his poor play outside of his goals in the world cup might have just notched outside of this, but I still think he is within a shout. Anyway let's not go off thread....!
The crazy part about Schweinsteiger is how underrated he was by Bayern fans and even more when he played for Germany until he won CL/WC after which a story of failure and heroic salvation was constructed. With all the delusion before and revisionism after winning the titles, it can be a bit tricky to fairly evaluate him.
I agree with most of what @Balu said, but would add some qualifications / differing view.
When Schweinsteiger turned into a midfielder for bayern, he wasn't a DM or a b2b. He picked up the ball deep either between the CBs or on the left side on the CBs and facilitated the transition from the back. He wasn't particularly adventurous at this, which is a reason why many fans weren't thrilled about him ("only side-way passing"; this was the reason why he was rightfully seen as "too similar to Kroos" to play as a double pivot with him). Someone has to do this job and he was very good at it, but he also had defensive weaknesses. That why Gustavo and Martinez were bought to replace an ageing and error-prone van Bommel. He definitely benefited from playing next to a midfielder who did most of the dirty work, despite not being lazy like Kroos (fyi: I am a huge Kroos fan-boy). In his best season for Bayern, when the team won the treble, he was second best to Ribery, who was by far the best player in the team. Over the course of his career for Bayern I rate multiple players of this generation/team above or on par with him. Injuries shortened his peak and overall he was more a "kog in a machine" than the main-attraction (slight exaggeration; he is a bayern legend).
I consider him a lot more important for Germany, where he tried his best to compensate for the deficiencies of an unbalanced and tactically naive team. Most of his career he played next to Khedira as a double pivot. Khedira was very lackluster when it came to positioning, breaking up play or tactical awareness. He was a bit of a headless chicken, so Schweinsteiger had to take over a lot more defensive responsibilities, while also being the guy who initiated the build-up. Whats really impressive is, that Schweinsteiger was able to do that time and time again in (slightly) shifting teams, that were all quite shacky. When putting on the German shirt, he showed remarkable tactical understanding and a level of flexibility, that really sets him apart. He played well despite dodgy coaching, tactics and other players failing to perform; he also played well despite being ridiculed and getting all the blame. He was a true leader in this team; something that is missing dearly since he left.
When looking at club performances, Modric is imo edging it. Yet despite his good WC, he doesn't match Schweinsteiger's contribution for the national team (both in terms of longevity and peak).
It's a pity we haven't seen Kroos play under Guardiola for a longer time. It would have been the perfect setting for him entering his peak: possession football based on quick passing & movement, high levels of organisation, and pressing as the main defensive means. I also think Guardiola would have been the ideal mentor to coach him individually, better than Ancelotti, and far better than Zidane and Löw. If he could have ever reached his full potential, it would have been there.
Although he predictably became a world class CM & a cornerstone of Madrid's successes, their more erratic tactics suited only some of his characteristics, imo.
Hell no, it was a pity we didn't see him under Heynckes more. Under Guardiola he became a boring, slow, one-dimensional deep playmaker akin to Xabi/Pirlo when he could've been a much more creative attacking midfielder like Zidane/Iniesta. Sadly that continued into his Madrid career then.
Heynckes gave him more freedom to buildup play but also go forward to attack. Guardiola's focus on dominating possesion meant that Kroos, being the most technically gifted midfielder in the team, was made to come deep and become the one to cycle possession. Under Heynckes he was a much more exciting, diverse, and fast paced, midfielder.
Who were those mythical 3 or even 5 midfielders that were better than Schweiny at his prime? I can only think of Iniesta with Pirlo and Xavi (not at his peak level anymore) being somewhere around, perhaps — and Schweiny did just put a mesmerising performance in Barcelona's complete demolition at the time.
According to this forum, I'm a Kroos fanboy, a Messi fanboy, a Neymar fanboy, a Hazard fanboy, a Thiago fanboy, an Iniesta fanboy, ...
In contrast to most in here I think Kroos fully utilized his potential. He's a clockwork who rarely commits any mistakes and makes everyone around him better. Schweinsteiger is maybe more versatile but Kroos doesn't need to be because he excels in the right setup, much more so than Schweini.
I also think he never had the potential to reach Xavi or Iniesta level. Great passer and technician but he lacked the agility and acceeleration of those two. He could never have played their roles as good as high up the pitch in that system. His physique always limited him.
I don't agree with the negative characterisation of that role, but this has always been his calling, imo. To me, Kroos's game was always more about midfield control than final third excitement, even when he nominally played higher up under Heynckes. Not only for his mentality, but also for physical reasons (he lacks the necessary agility for a modern day AM, which players like Iniesta, Özil, etc. have).
From 2010-13 IMO Xavi, Iniesta, Xabi, Pirlo. Sneijder in 2010 for sure and from 2011-2013 Yaya Toure, Ozil.
Just for the record in 2014 CL SF Real humiliated Bayern in Munich 0:4. In that game Modric was everywhere, tremendous both on and off the ball and he was against Schweinsteiger and Kroos and he was the best midfielder on the pitch.
Kroos definitely had it in him to be an attacking midfielder. His season at Leverkusen in 2009-10 under Heynckes showed how much potential he had in an attacking role, he played mostly as on the left side of a 4-4-2 that season and got 9 goals and 9 assists. Here are some highlights :
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