Real Madrid: We are witnessing a living legend at his absolute best

Real Madrid (Photo by Constantin Stefan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Real Madrid (Photo by Constantin Stefan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) /

Real Madrid are steamrolling through the 2021-22 season so far. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really expect the record of the team to be this good at the start of the season. Much of that has been credited to a number of players in the squad. Karim Benzema has just been on another level this season, scoring and assisting goals at will.

With 28 goal contributions in 22 starts in all competitions, it’s just been a wild season for the Frenchman. The other one is Vinicius Jr, who has really been the surprise of the season, being so important to the team’s success in so many ways. There are others too: David Alaba and Eder Militao have held it together really, really well so far.

But there is one player who hasn’t been talked about as much as he deserves. It seems like that has been the case throughout his career, but Toni Kroos has just been incredible. There’s a lack of words in the dictionary about this man. The sad part is, people don’t give him his flowers. Luckily, I’m not one of them.

Toni Kroos has changed Real Madrid’s fortunes since his return from injury

I wrote a few words about him in my takeaways for the game against Granada, but I don’t really think that they do him justice. Kroos has just been on another level after his sort of subpar performance against Espanyol just after his return from injury. And the impact he’s had on the team is nearly unmatched. Ever since he arrived at the club, it just feels like a huge, huge piece of the jigsaw was missing, and Real Madrid have found it.

Ever since Kroos has returned, we’ve seen an uptick in the performances of Casemiro. That guy has just improved so much since his return, and I don’t even want to think about how he was playing before the German came back. Casemiro is much calmer with his partner in crime on the left of him. He knows that he wouldn’t be put in weird pressing situations because Kroos makes literally everything easier for everyone.

If Real Madrid’s opponents force Kroos to sit back and build from the back, we see him sitting in front of the defenders, playing long balls to the wingers. If the team requires him to go forward, he’d do that with ease as well, just look at the games against Sheriff and Rayo Vallecano. Kroos can do whatever he wants to do, and nothing – and I mean nothing – can stop him.  The man’s also scoring amazing goals every now and then, by the way. Make of that what you will.

If you’re still not convinced, take this into account. Kroos is in the 98th or the 99th percentile for 30 statistics, when compared to the rest of the midfielders in Europe. Thirty. All of those statistics are very important for a midfielder, by the way. They’re not just named for the sake of it. Those numbers will likely go down by just a little bit, since he has played lesser games than other top players because of his injury. But, I doubt they go down by that much.

Kroos is 31 years old, and he’s honestly playing like he’s 26. His numbers have rarely been better, and his passing has rarely been more joyful to witness.

By the way, while we’re on the subject, Kroos is the best passer in the world right now, the best passer of his generation and easily one of the best passers in the history of the game. No, it’s not an exaggeration, and yes, I mean that.

We’re watching Kroos play at such an elite level, and according to him, he’s nearing the end of his career. I honestly think that if he really wanted to, he could play till his late 30s. The way he plays, he doesn’t at all need to be athletic. Yes, his defensive contributions are probably going to decrease a little bit if he goes on till that point. The German knows that, though, which is why he said he’d retire sooner.

It’s a bit sad, but better to leave while you’re at the top than to stay and slowly decline. For Kroos, it wouldn’t really be very different, but he’s thinking about the team. He wouldn’t really want the team to suffer because of him.

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Let’s forget about the future for a second, though. Let the man go to work week in, week out. Let him mesmerize each and every Madrid fan in attendance with his other-worldly skills. Kroos simply a master at his craft, and we’re all here for it.