Toni Kroos on Thursday became Real Madrid’s first high profile signing for the new season, moving from Bayern Munich on a six-year deal just days after winning the World Cup with Germany.
The 24-year-old playmaker had an outstanding World Cup, scoring two goals in two minutes in the 7-1 semi-final rout of Brazil, en route to overcoming Argentina 1-0 in Sunday’s final.
Spanish media said Real and Bayern agreed a deal worth between €25 million and €30 million. The two clubs said the transfer fee would remain secret.
A Real statement described Kroos as “a playmaker capable of finding the best option in any situation, with a vision of the game enabling him to help his teammates, as well as an impressive kick.”
Kroos, whose contract with Bayern expired next season, sided with Real over alternatives such as Manchester United or Chelsea.
A Bayern statement confirmed it had made a deal with Real and that Kroos had signed a six-year contract.
“The two clubs have agreed to remain silent about the transfer fee,” it said.
Germany return to top of FIFA’s rankings
Germany’s charge to claim Sunday’s World Cup title has seen them return to the top of Fifa’s world rankings for the first time in around 20 years.
The latest list, published on Thursday, has Germany moving up one place on the strength of their 1-0 defeat of Argentina at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana.
Lionel Messi’s Argentina are placed second, an improvement of three places, with the Netherlands leaping 12 rungs into third after their impressive World Cup third place finish.
The James Rodriguez-inspired Colombia moved up to fourth (+4), ahead of Belgium (+6) and Uruguay (+1), while disappointing Brazil dropped four spots to seventh.
Deposed world champions Spain slumped seven spots to their new modest placing of eighth, with Switzerland and France (+7) completing the top ten.
Costa Rica’s remarkable charge to the quarter-finals was rewarded with a jump of 12 places to 16th.
England’s woeful first round exit resulted in Roy Hodgson’s side plummeting down the ladder ten places to 20th, their lowest ranking for 18 years.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2014.
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