Toni Kroos

schwalbe

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Who do you see above him? Ballack, Schweinsteiger, Khedira/Frings? Kimmich has only had 1.5 seasons at CM on the highest pretty much. Wouldn't it be unfair to include him just yet?
Yeah, my picks would be Ballack, Schweinsteiger and Kimmich. Kimmich is just such an incredible player, so even though he hasn't been a full time CM for that long, what he showed over those two seasons justifies a top three place.
Schweinsteiger's peak wasn't that long either, Kroos easily beats him for longevity.
 

Sylar

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I had no idea Kroos was so close to signing for you. I think that story just shows how big a club United are. Kroos was actually eager to join despite you having David Moyes as your manager. David fecking Moyes :lol:
David Moyes and certain to miss champions League football

It's crazy
 

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I know where @Hansi Fick is coming from with regards to his pressing resistance, falling to the ground and calling foul when pressured was a bit of a signature move of his during his time at Bayern.

I always thought of Kroos to be a player who can elevate a very good team to another level but who would struggle in weaker, less dominant sides.
He's technically superb, his passing is worldclass and he has a fantastic shot even though he makes way too little use of it in my opinion. However, I think he's seriously lacking in other areas which would be much more apparent if he wasn't playing for Real Madrid or Bayern. I think it sometimes shows at the german NT.
For this reason he wouldn't even make it into my top 3 german midfielders of this century in terms of his peak level.
Peak-wise, I'd go with:

1. Gündogan
2. Kroos
3. Schweinsteiger
4. Kimmich
5. Ballack

Peak x longevity, it would be

1. Kroos
2. Ballack
3. Schweinsteiger
4. Gündogan
5. Kimmich

Kimmich can obviously still climb the ladder.
 

Hulksmash

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Didn't Van Gal said Kroos wasn't good enough?
 

Zehner

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Gundogan peak over Schweinsteiger 2014 and Ballack 2002? :confused:
Personally, yes. Gündogan 2013 was an incredible player, not far off Modric in his CL winning years performance-wise. His current level is also very impressive since he added end product to his game and is still incredibly pressing resistant. Schweinsteiger, Kimmich and Ballack are pretty close I believe, you could go with any order. Regarding Schweinsteiger 2014: I believe that many people primarily remember his WC final performance. That wasn't his usual level, not even at his peak.

Ballack is very hard to compare, IMO, since he's a very different type of player - especially his 2002 version. It's like comparing Lampard with Pirlo. The other four are quite similar in many aspects but Ballack is the exception. Yet he never was top 3 in his position at any point of his career if you ask me which is why I have him below the rest.
 

hasanejaz88

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Didn't Van Gal said Kroos wasn't good enough?
Van Gaal never liked him even during his Bayern days. Played Kroos as a DM with Schweinsteiger and Bayern would get eaten up on the counter since both weren't natural DMs. Most of the criticism sadly went to Kroos though he was playing completely out of position.

It was under Heynckes that Kroos went back to playing AM and became world class at Bayern.

So not surprised that Van Gaal didn't want Kroos at United, I don't know if even Kroos wanted to work with Van Gaal himself.
 

hasanejaz88

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Personally, yes. Gündogan 2013 was an incredible player, not far off Modric in his CL winning years performance-wise. His current level is also very impressive since he added end product to his game and is still incredibly pressing resistant. Schweinsteiger, Kimmich and Ballack are pretty close I believe, you could go with any order. Regarding Schweinsteiger 2014: I believe that many people primarily remember his WC final performance. That wasn't his usual level, not even at his peak.

Ballack is very hard to compare, IMO, since he's a very different type of player - especially his 2002 version. It's like comparing Lampard with Pirlo. The other four are quite similar in many aspects but Ballack is the exception. Yet he never was top 3 in his position at any point of his career if you ask me which is why I have him below the rest.
That is such bollocks. Your hatred for Ballack holds no bounds :lol:
 

Zehner

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That is such bollocks. Your hatred for Ballack holds no bounds :lol:
Yes, because every fecking opinion that is not in line with one's own nowadays has to be either hatred or fanboyism :rolleyes: This is so fecking boring.
 

hasanejaz88

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Yes, because every fecking opinion that is not in line with one's own nowadays has to be either hatred or fanboyism :rolleyes: This is so fecking boring.
When you combine saying Ballack's peak was worse than everyone else and that Ballack was never a top 3 attacking midfielder, it can only be hatred and not objective opinion!

Gundogan's peak was better than Ballack (let alone everyone else in that list). For fecks sake.
 

Zehner

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When you combine saying Ballack's peak was worse than everyone else and that Ballack was never a top 3 attacking midfielder, it can only be hatred and not objective opinion!

Gundogan's peak was better than Ballack (let alone everyone else in that list). For fecks sake.
During the majority of his career, Ballack was a big fish in a small pond. He played in the Bundesliga, for Bayern and for the DFB during the weakest periods of all three institutions. In the 00s, there were a bunch of attacking midfielders performing similarly well to him in the league who nobody considers even close to world class. Micoud, Lincoln, Diego, Hleb, van der Vaart, Marcelinho or Misimovic, just to name a few. The standard of the league was nowhere near the EPL, La Liga or Serie A at that time and so was the national team.
And after Ballack left the league, he was an important piece of Mourinho's Chelsea but had nowhere near the influence he had for his previous clubs. People like to point out that he was past his peak back then, but he was 29 at the time of his move, younger than Gündogan and Kroos are, and just had his best season for Bayern scoring-wise. Now consider the competition he was up against in the attacking midfield world wide - guys like Ronaldinho, Zidane, Nedved, Rivaldo or Riquelme and later on also Lampard, Gerrard, Kaka, Sneijder, etc. I really don't see him making the top 3 at any point of his career.

And the way you talk about Gündogan, you haven't seen him play in 2013. Unfortunately he injured himself soon after and wasn't the same again until his return to form this season. But in 2013.. man, that was just incredible. Götze and him were literally unpressable at the time.

Ballack is a generalist. He's good at elevating weak teams since he can do it all. But in a top team, his skill set is of lesser importance. And a world class player will sooner or later always play in an elite squad.

edit: Here's a video of Gündogan vs. Madrid in 2013:

 
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This is perhaps the biggest 'miss' of all the signings we've missed out on.

I think overall this guy would have transformed our fortunes more than almost anybody I can think of that we were genuinely interested in and lost out on.

What say ye' caf? Anybody who could have been a more influential signing that we missed out on?
 

AgentSmith

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This is perhaps the biggest 'miss' of all the signings we've missed out on.

I think overall this guy would have transformed our fortunes more than almost anybody I can think of that we were genuinely interested in and lost out on.

What say ye' caf? Anybody who could have been a more influential signing that we missed out on?
None that seem to have been as close to a proper agreement as that Kroos deal in recent memory. We were literally an LVG ‘we goooo for it’ away from getting him.

Selling Ronaldo to Madrid for £80 million in the same summer that Robben and Sneijder were sold by Madrid for £40 million total will always haunt me though.
 
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This is perhaps the biggest 'miss' of all the signings we've missed out on.

I think overall this guy would have transformed our fortunes more than almost anybody I can think of that we were genuinely interested in and lost out on.

What say ye' caf? Anybody who could have been a more influential signing that we missed out on?
There's been a few "almosts". Kroos would have been amazing.

I'd have liked Adams (always rated him) but Gazza could have been a huge signing... and may have helped Gazza too (with SAF as boss)
 

Gio

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During the majority of his career, Ballack was a big fish in a small pond. He played in the Bundesliga, for Bayern and for the DFB during the weakest periods of all three institutions. In the 00s, there were a bunch of attacking midfielders performing similarly well to him in the league who nobody considers even close to world class. Micoud, Lincoln, Diego, Hleb, van der Vaart, Marcelinho or Misimovic, just to name a few. The standard of the league was nowhere near the EPL, La Liga or Serie A at that time and so was the national team.
And after Ballack left the league, he was an important piece of Mourinho's Chelsea but had nowhere near the influence he had for his previous clubs. People like to point out that he was past his peak back then, but he was 29 at the time of his move, younger than Gündogan and Kroos are, and just had his best season for Bayern scoring-wise. Now consider the competition he was up against in the attacking midfield world wide - guys like Ronaldinho, Zidane, Nedved, Rivaldo or Riquelme and later on also Lampard, Gerrard, Kaka, Sneijder, etc. I really don't see him making the top 3 at any point of his career.
I suppose the difference with that first group of players is that Ballack performed highly in Europe and internationally - as well as in the Bundesliga - while most of them had little impact outside the domestic game. Granted the standard of the national team was poor, yet it was Ballack who almost single-handedly made them competitive, such as the 3 goals in the World Cup 2002 play-off against Ukraine, or his winning goals in the quarter final and semi-final.

Even though all of the second group were better than Ballack at certain points of their careers, it wasn't always the case and, to be fair, it is quite a range of positions from second strikers through to box-to-box midfielders. Generally though I'm not sure he's outwith the top 3 as an attacking number 8 from 2001-2004 or so. Zidane and Rivaldo start to fade in 2002, while most of the others aren't quite there yet. Gerrard, Lampard, Kaka and Riquelme moved up a couple of gears from about 2004 onwards. So I'd give you Nedved and Ronaldinho - both ultimately superior players hitting peak form around the same time as Ballack - even though Ronaldinho operated primarily as a left forward for Barcelona, but I can't see anyone else trumping him in that role during that period. Perhaps and personally speaking Deco and Baraja in the same ballpark for some of that timespan too, but not necessarily ahead of Ballack.
 

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If he weren't catastrophic defensively he'd have gone down as the best CM of this era
The funny thing is that, while he can be quite bad defensively off the ball, he's probably one of the best midfielders defensively on the ball thanks to his ability resist pressing and barely miss passes.
 

Boavista

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I had no idea Kroos was so close to signing for you. I think that story just shows how big a club United are. Kroos was actually eager to join despite you having David Moyes as your manager. David fecking Moyes :lol:
As funny as it sounds knowing how bad Moyes was, it's hardly that surprising is it?

It was less than a year after Ferguson retired, and United were still reigning champions at the time. The squad wasn't in great shape, but I think most people would have thought it won't take long for United to become competitive again.
 

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None that seem to have been as close to a proper agreement as that Kroos deal in recent memory. We were literally an LVG ‘we goooo for it’ away from getting him.

Selling Ronaldo to Madrid for £80 million in the same summer that Robben and Sneijder were sold by Madrid for £40 million total will always haunt me though.
Yeah agree. Though I'm talking more specifically since SAF left and what signings could have made the biggest difference for us in these dark times (last 7 years.)