Hamburg (dpa) - A commitment guaranteed by Joachim Loew how they got Serge Gnabry, Toni Kroos does not need. For the start of the European Championship season, the midfielder from Real Madrid up to the tournament highlight in the summer of 2020 simply declared itself indispensable.
The special status granted by the national coach after the World Cup disaster 2018 with self-selected creative breaks is finished with the important EURO qualifier of the national football team against the Netherlands on Friday (20.45 / RTL) in Hamburg for the 29-year-olds.
"It's true that with the beginning of the European Championship, we have some games that are good yardsticks and I want to be consistent and good when we look towards the European Championship," said Kroos on Thursday. In June, he had voluntarily paused in the European Championship qualifiers against Belarus (2-0) and Estonia (8-0). With these opponents one had agreed that it does not need his participation for two victories, reported Kroos.
Instead, he celebrated in Cologne shortly thereafter, the premiere of a rather uncritical documentary about his career and made with his family just take a longer holiday. After a "not so successful season" with Real Madrid, he was tired, Kroos admitted, conceding that he also had a "few problems" that "I've had over the past few months".
Now he feels ready again. Like the DFB team, the Royal League in Madrid is in for a big change, in which it has to prove itself. At the start of the season, he was at Real with a dream goal, but also with a blatant bad pass, which cost points.
Kroos is a strategist on and off the field. In addition to captain Manuel Neuer, he is the only remaining world champion regular from the jubilee year 2014. None in Löw's current squad has played more internationals (92), none has scored more goals (14).
Again and again, Kroos, who occasionally looks a little lost in Löw's new football boy group, is confronted with the question of a possible career end in the DFB jersey after the European Championship in 2020. He still answers them evasively. The lot of his title-mates Mats Hummels, Thomas Müller and Jérôme Boateng, which were unexpectedly sorted out by Löw in March, definitely wants to prevent Kroos with his fine sense for moods and fluctuations.
Comfort zones are in Löw's midfield but not more, Kroos understood. After his cadre nomination Löw said: "Of course, I'm planning with the Toni until next year to the European Championships." A sentence that changes the meaning depending on the emphasis on the beginning of the sentence or the end of the sentence. Previously, the national coach had called Ilkay Gündogan, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka and Kai Havertz as another key personnel options.
For the Netherlands, Kroos is still an important stabilizing factor for Löw for a young national team in the identification phase. "Basically, I also plan with the Toni Kroos, in any case, because the Toni is a player who has great experience. It's also important for a team to have someone to align with when things get out of hand in a game, "said the coach.