Real Madrid: 5 players who must shine in a huge match against Villarreal

Real Madrid, Casemiro (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Casemiro (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Toni Kroos
Real Madrid, Toni Kroos (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

CM Toni Kroos

Toni Kroos is one of the best midfielders in European football, even if he’s earned criticism for his recent performances with the German national team. But it is also fair to say that both Madridistas and German fans expect more out of a player of Kroos’ stature and caliber.

According to, Kroos is second in La Liga in key passes per game, and he is also among the league leaders again in passing accuracy. However, Kroos has no goal contributions in 339 minutes, which is concerning for Real.

Saturday’s match at Villarreal is an opportunity for Kroos to have a statement game with all eyes on two of the best teams in the league. He needs to control the midfield and create for teammates, and the matchup he has makes his brilliance imperative. Dani Parejo is the league’s leader in overall passes per game and has been arguably better than Kroos this season. The former Valencia man is one of the league’s best midfielders, and Kroos will have to challenge himself against Parejo and rise to the occasion.

Kroos is not the kind of player you want to count out, but Real Madrid will be expecting a lot more from him. He and Casemiro are two players who really need to step up for Los Blancos both this weekend and beyond.