Fresh from winning the 2014 FIFA World Cup with Germany, Toni Kroos has confirmed he is on the move at club level.
“We’ve finished the World Cup in the best way possible," said Kroos. "Now I’m going to Madrid, so that’s two dreams achieved."
The transfer is a fantastic way for Kroos to cap a brilliant tournament. He achieved a moment of personal history as a victor in the final:
The diminutive playmaker's performances were excellent in Brazil. Kroos was a tireless creative hub at the heart of a supremely talented Germany midfield.
What the gifted 24-year-old offers Real Madrid is tactical flexibility. Kroos is equally comfortable in a deep-lying role as he is further forward, operating behind a striker.
His patience on the ball and creative distribution makes him an asset to the way his teams construct attacks. But Kroos' tremendous shooting power also makes him a major threat whenever he receives the ball just outside the box.
That level of versatility is something Los Blancos' chief Carlo Ancelotti will savour. The Italian coach often likes to mix various formations ranging from 4-1-2-1-2 to a loose and fluid 4-3-3.
Kroos gives Ancelotti a lot of options. He could slot the young German alongside Croatian technical wizard Luka Modric. That would give Madrid two pass masters at the heart of midfield. Kroos would certainly offer more energy than the ageing Xabi Alonso.
Alternatively, Kroos could be deployed further forward to support the strikers. He might hover in that halfway position Ancelotti used to make stars of first Kaka at AC Milan, then Angel Di Maria last season in Madrid.
Of the two options, the former seems more likely. Kroos is at his best when he is given the freedom of the halfway line and license to push forward when he chooses.
That option is all the more likely when considering Ancelotti's interest in Colombia and AS Monaco star James Rodriguez. The 23-year-old has been linked with a switch to the Bernabeau, according to Jeremy Wilson of The Telegraph, among others.
Rodriguez, who thrived at the World Cup and earned the Golden Boot award after scoring six goals in five matches, is a natural No. 10. He would be the perfect option as Ancelotti's attacking midfielder turned supporting striker.
Kroos can offer ample industry and guile behind Madrid's star-studded forward line. Those qualities made him a star for Germany and will make him an instant hit with the UEFA Champions League winners.
Adding Kroos refreshes a midfield that needs a revamp if Ancelotti is going to capture the La Liga crown from city rivals Atletico this season.