Toni Kroos has been disrespected yet again by the mainstream crowd

Real Madrid, Toni Kroos (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Toni Kroos (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

Another day, another disappointment. That is the feeling when looking at how Real Madrid center midfielder Toni Kroos has been robbed of another honor by a mainstream outlet. First, he was not even nominated for the Ballon d’Or. Then, ESPN did not even rank him as one of the top 10 midfielders in the world. And now, we have another mainstream outlet overlooking the Madrid superstar. This one may be the most annoying yet.

The video game franchise FIFA, by EA Sports, recently released its full list of Team of the Year nominees. In midfield, two Real Madrid players made the cut, Casemiro and Luka Modric. As you’d expect, they have been two of the world’s best – and they have been two of the world’s best both for the year 2021 and in years prior.

However, Toni Kroos was not on this list of players. In total 26 players, with the caveat that a few of them like Luis Diaz are not actually midfielders, were nominated. Kroos was not one of them despite being one of the very best midfielders of the year. We could argue for days about whether N’Golo Kante, Kevin de Bruyne, Jorginho, or Kroos was the best midfielder of 2021. But Kroos is absolutely in the argument.

Beyond that, who can name 10 midfielders who were better than Kroos throughout 2021? It would be blasphemous to even try. Manuel Locatelli, Pedri, Lucas Paqueta, Declan Rice, Fabinho, Dani Olmo, Leon Goretzka, and Filip Kostic are all great players. But how can anyone even fathom trying to argue that they had a better year than Kroos? Or are in any way better players?

Toni Kroos is completing around 95 percent of his passes this season

Kroos has scored two goals in the Champions League with a goal and an assist in LaLiga this season. He completes 95 percent of his passes on about 80 passes per game, including 2.4 key passes per game in the league. Last season, he had 3 goals and 12 assists between LaLiga and the Champions League, averaging more than two key passes per game in both competitions. His 2021 had some marquee individual performances, such as his passing clinic in a first-leg Champions League triumph over Liverpool, silencing Kopites who had criticized him coming into the match.

There is no denying Kroos’ resume in 2021, and it would be foolish to dismiss his numbers, which place him as the best passer in European football. Kroos is incredibly consistent and accurate on all types of passes. He is this accurate while still being able to take enough risks to create chances and gather assists, even though his main duties are to start the build-up play and keep possession safely recycling.

It is mind-blowing how often mainstream news organizations, awards, and entertainment underrate Kroos, who is a superstar player for the most-followed club in the world. Kroos’ teammates in midfield, Case and Lukita, are Team of the Year candidates in FIFA 22, so in what universe is Kroos not there alongside them? He probably had the best year of any of those three, even above Modric! And that should seal the fact that he belongs.

Real Madrid fans have to be losing their minds at how Kroos gets this treatment. And in the case of FIFA, it ends up being insidious, because there are so many young fans who mostly follow the game through this franchise. So when Kroos gets passed up for honors, it is all the more reason for these fans to dismiss his accomplishments. And that’s why we get these bizarre hot takes on social media about Kroos from people who, evidently, do not watch or understand the game.

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It’s sad, and it is especially sad how the most consistent players in football often suffer the most by omission. At least Madridistas appreciate their No. 8, 100 percent. He is one of the greatest midfielders ever.