In recent football history, there are plenty midfielders to compete for the title of the greatest. From Nedved and Seedorf to Xavi and Iniesta, the comparisons among the fans are frequent and demonstrate the difficulty of answering that question. One of the modern players, who can easily be compared with the legends of the past, is Toni Kroos.
The FX-Ray Project will proceed to a deep analysis of the player, focusing on his individual statistical profile. In this way, his best seasons, so far, and what should the football fans expect from him to perform in the upcoming season will be pointed out.
Data Collection, Analysis and Methodology
For the purpose of the research, individual data from certain categories will be collected since the first full season of Toni Kroos in Bayern Munich, back in 2011. All competitions, in which the player participated, are taken into account, except from those with his national team. The stats will be analyzed in two different parts, based on the offensive and defensive contribution.
Moreover, positive and negative weights will be introduced to the data, by producing a certain score for each one of the statistical categories for both offense and defense. The total score will be representative of the German’s performance for every single season.
For ending, by using the Forecasting Method, the approximate performance of Toni Kroos for next season can be estimated, while his scoring and passing contribution for both Bayern Munich and Real Madrid will be presented, too.
Results & Discussion
Toni Kroos is a skillful box-to-box midfielder. His great perception on the field helps him to perform efficiently in most of parts of the game. He avoids the unforced errors with his quality and loses the ball possession rarely. At this point, it is essential to mention that, when he was playing for Bayern Munich (2011-2014), he had more active role in offense, while in Real Madrid, with all these world class players around him, his role differs. This is the main reason why there are significant variances at his offensive performance.
Kroos is not a gifted scorer. He has never scored in double digits during a season in his whole career. However, he has the know-how to take advantage of his position on the field for him or his teammates. Since 2014, he never had less than 10 assists per season. A number that many other attacking players would seek for.
By inserting positive weights in goals, assists, shots, key passes and successful dribbles and negative weights in unsuccessful dribbles, unsuccessful touches and dispossession, the score of the offensive performance of Kroos per season arises.
The scores, which resulted from the weights’ insertion, depict which the most productive season of the German was, offensively. The season 2011/12 was the best in his career so far, followed by seasons 2016/17 and 2012/13.
Apart from a useful offensive tool, Toni Kroos has is also natural talent, defensively, as well. His awareness in defense is precious for his team, as he constitutes a real barrier for the opponent’s attacking plans. Although he is tall (1.82 m), the aerial duels might be the only imperfection in his defensive game style. However, during the latest seasons he has found a way to getting involved more successfully when the ball is not on the ground.
The procedure remains the same as before, in the offensive stats. This time, positive weights are inserted in interceptions, tackles and aerial duels won, while negative weights are inserted in aerial duels lost, dribbles suffered and cards (yellow – red).
The scores, which resulted from the weights’ insertion, reveal the best season of the German, defensively. The seasons 2011/12 and 2016/17 were equally fruitful for Kroos, followed by seasons 2014/15 and 2015/16. Since his arrival to Madrid, in 2014/15, his defensive performance has increased and remained in outstanding standards.
I. Overall Scores
After the sum of the two scores that are produced for both offensive and defensive performances, the final score has emerged. The final scores represent the overall performance of Toni Kroos per season.
According to the above table, the season 2011/12 was his greatest, individually, followed by the seasons 2016/17 and 2012/13. An interesting result, extracted from this process, comes from his sudden breakthrough, in 2012. Since then, there is no season for him with less than 7 score points. A fact that confirms the high level of football and mental skills the player possesses.
II. Use of Forecasting Model
Forecasting is the process of making predictions of the future based on past and present data. The data used must be up to date so as for the forecast to be as accurate as possible. By using the Forecasting Model, the range between the Lower and the Upper Bound of Toni Kroos’ score for season 2018/19 can be predicted. The confidence level will be 95%.
Through the forecasting technique, using linear approach, the average score of Kroos for 2019 is 8.13, with a Lower Bound of 7.72 and an Upper Bound of 8.53. In simple words, Kroos is expected to perform better than the seasons 2015/16 and 2017/18, in which Real Madrid won the Champions League trophy, but worse than season 2016/17, when “Blancos” won both Champions League and La Liga titles.
III. Scoring and Passing Contribution
The salient quality of Kroos is conspicuous at his scoring and passing contribution. Many people may believe the opposite, but the German has always been involved in the offensive yield of his team.
At his four seasons in Bayern Munich, the scoring contribution of Toni Kroos was 66 goals (22 goals, 44 assists). At the same time period, Bayern scored 525 goals. The actual contribution of Kroos for the “Bavarians” surpassed 12.5%.
Additionally, during his four season in Real Madrid, the corresponding contribution was again 66 goals. The main distinction has to do with the type of contribution, as he was scoring less (12 goals) and assisting more (54 assists). The goals of his current club were 609, which means that the contribution of Kroos almost reached 11%.
Lastly, another important feature that illustrates the improvement and the maturity in the game of Kroos is the passing performance. After 2014, Toni Kroos has been increasingly involved in the passing game of his team. More precisely, since then, there is no season for him with less than 66 average passes and 92% of success per match.
Kroos is like the good old wine. The more the time passes, the more mature he becomes. Over the seasons, he prefers to support roles that make him priceless for his team. He has the bravery to be in the front lines than letting his teammates helpless in the critical moments of a match.
His scoring contribution for both Bayern Munich and Real Madrid does not have significant deviation, demonstrating his great stability in the top level. His inexplicable success rate in passes comes as capstone of his overall leading presence on the field. He has such quality that his recent achievement, with 116 out of 118 successful passes in the first La Liga match of the season, is thought to be nothing but a high standard performance.
Summarizing, the findings of the analysis verified that Toni Kroos is a top, multifunctional, midfielder with significant influence on the game of his team. Scores for both his offensive and defensive behavior emerged due to the positive and negative statistical weights that were inserted. The total scores imprinted his most productive seasons, individually.
Furthermore, the use of the Forecasting Model provided certain predictions about his performance for next season. Finally, the scoring and passing contribution confirmed the class and the quality of the player as indicators of improvement and maturity of his game.
Whoscored.com. (2018). Toni Kroos – History. [online] Available at: https://bit.ly/2LkIv96 [Accessed 13 Aug. 2018].
Transfermarkt.com. (2018). Toni Kroos – Entire performance data. [online] Available at: https://bit.ly/2BMlNaq [Accessed 13 Aug. 2018].
Stamopoulos, A. (2018). FX-Ray Project: Valencia C.F. – Statathlon: Revolutionize the Sport. [online] Statathlon: Revolutionize the Sport. Available at: https://bit.ly/2NcKzC7 [Accessed 12 Aug. 2018].