Toni Kroos will soon need two hands to count his Champions League titles, but the Real Madrid footballer still flies under the radar in Germany. The 32-year-old never quite reached the masses - that will not change in the Supercup against Eintracht Frankfurt either.
Title hamster Toni Kroos is far from full. "Anyone who knows us in Madrid knows that we're there wherever there's a title up for grabs," said Kroos ahead of the Supercup duel with Europa League winner Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday (9 p.m./live on free TV on RTL and in the live ticker on ntv.de) in Helsinki. For Kroos and Real Madrid's Los Blancos it would certainly be a trophy that would not be in the front row of the cupboard. Nevertheless, for the Spanish record champions it was "one more title that we want to win," emphasized the former national player.
However, this would not change anything for the 32-year-old in terms of his reputation in Germany. Despite his incredible success, the native of Greifswald was never worshiped, only respected. The minutes after the Champions League triumph with Real at the end of May in Paris against Liverpool FC were symptomatic.
For the 2014 world champion it was the fifth success in the premier class, but the TV audience remembered his memorable interview with ZDF reporter Nils Kaben. Kroos complained about the "shitty questions" and then said: "You only ask three negative questions. Then you already know that you come from Germany." Kroos misses the appreciation at home. Despite winning the Champions League, he only came fourth behind Christopher Nkunku, Robert Lewandowski and Kevin Trapp.
His sporting status in Madrid, on the other hand, is enormous. Coach Carlo Ancelotti described his midfield of Kroos, Luka Modrić and Casemiro as the "Bermuda Triangle". Nevertheless, his critics continue to call him "cross pass Toni". This nickname does not do justice to the most successful German footballer in the past decade. Against Frankfurt there is a chance to show the compatriots again and the attacking player will definitely want to use it. But: "Better controversial in Germany and worldwide recognition than the other way around," Kroos once said.
But Kroos is not completely innocent. Most recently, he teased Schalke 04. Ed Sheeran had achieved something that he had rarely seen: Kroos joked in his podcast that people went home happy after an event at Schalke. The Schalke response was not long in coming: "At least we can give cool interviews after the final whistle."