Soccer Finance

With Move to Real Madrid, Midfielder Kroos Redeems World Cup Bonus

New Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos of Germany controls the ball during his presentation at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid July 17, 2014. Kroos has signed a six-year deal to join Real Madrid from Bayern Munich, the Bundesliga club confirmed on Thursday. The 24-year-old was instrumental in Germany's World Cup-winning campaign that culminated in a 1-0 final victory over Argentina on Sunday and moves to the Bernabeu for a fee believed to be in the region of 25 million euros ($33.82 million).  Source: REUTERS/Andrea Comas
The 24-year-old midfielder was instrumental in Germany's World Cup winning campaign.

Toni Kroos wore the number 39 on his back with Bavaria Munich, not number 10, which is far more appropriate because the lower number identifies a footballer who is a creative playmaker and attacker. Accepting a higher number says something about the humility of Mr. Kroos, who accepted it without complaint, but it says even more about the Bavarian team and its view of the star athlete.

Mr. Kroos, who joined the team as a teenager, was promised the holy number 10 a few years ago by no less an authority than Uli Honess, the German soccer star who played in the World Cup and two European Cup championships before becoming president of Bayern Munich, Germany’s most successful Bundesliga professional soccer team. The midfielder’s talent was so transcendent, even at age 17, that awarding the number 10 jersey to the young Mr. Kroos was easy to justify.

Want to keep reading?

Subscribe now or log in to read our coverage of Europe’s leading economy.