Federal coach defends “indispensable” veteran
Joachim Löw cannot understand why some people doubt Toni Kroos. He recalls a trio at the 2014 World Cup.
While Thomas Müller or Mats Hummels first had to fight their way back into the national team, Toni Kroos remained a fixture under Joachim Löw even after the 2018 World Cup fiasco. There is much to suggest that the midfield strategist will also be in the starting eleven for Germany’s European Championship opener against France on Tuesday (9pm, LIVE! on kicker) – despite all the doubters.
“Basically,” Löw said in an interview with dpa about the Kroos debate, “it’s nothing new for me that there are different opinions about some players and that people sometimes rub up against such player personalities. Some say great class, others see the weaknesses. Toni Kroos may have been on the receiving end a time or two.”
Will Germany be “overrun” in their European Championship opener? Löw remains calm
Berti Vogts, for example, one of Löw’s predecessors, told “t-online” that Germany would be “overrun by France” if Kroos and Ilkay Gündogan formed the midfield centre. But as always, Löw is relaxed about such criticism. “I don’t know it any differently after the many years as national coach.”
He recalls the World Cup title seven years ago: “What was it like in 2014 with Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger or even Miroslav Klose? The things that were written and said about these players between 2012 and 2014, some of which went below the belt. You have to put up with that. These players then showed what they can do when they won the title in Brazil.”
Löw on Kroos: “There’s no better way to prepare for the job “
Kroos, who tackles the EURO with the experience of 102 caps and five major tournaments, is an important leader, Löw stresses. “You can ask every single player or everyone in our team: Toni is a role model of professionalism. You can’t prepare better for the job, you can’t do more.”
“Coupled with his overview of the game and his technique”, the 31-year-old is “simply an indispensable player for me at the moment. Toni is outstanding in a game – especially when it’s difficult and you need control on the pitch.” Against France and Portugal, these skills could become equally important.
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