Kroos (2019)

‘Kroos’ (2019) follows a familiar arc

In general, I don’t like to watch documentaries about current players because they tend to be boring marketing fluff. The arc is usually the same: kid has a nice family, leaves for academy at a young age, overcomes obstacles, recognized as great, wins championships, and starts a foundation. 

This film about Toni Kroos, Germany’s #8, is no different, and at almost 2 hours long, I suspect only fans of Real Madrid or the German NT could watch the whole show. For them, I am sure it is a treat to get to know him better and see how he lives a cloistered life in Spain. But for me, Kroos was another one of those soccer movies on Amazon not worth my time. 

I have to admit, though, that before watching this film, I had no idea who he was. Even though I had really enjoyed Die Mannschaft, the documentary about the German team that won WC 2014 in Brazil. And I also hadn’t noticed him despite watching most of the games at WC 2014 and every game at WC 2018. 

The film points out that is one of his problems — that it is difficult to recognize his value because he doesn’t attract attention on or off the pitch. He passes the ball around in a way that seems ordinary, and he doesn’t celebrate much. His foundation complains that he doesn’t even have a photo of himself holding the World Cup trophy. Watching Kroos play is not like watching the people we acknowledge as the greatest midfielders of their day. Even the highlights in this film are not terribly inspiring.

The documentary thoroughly covers his life. His younger brother Felix played for FC Union Berlin at the time, and his father Roland coached them together as children at Greifswald FC in East Germany. You get a feel for what a difference it makes in a player’s career when the coach likes you. Zidane is obviously a big fan of Toni Kroos, as is Pep Guardiola, but Klinsmann not so much. There is insider footage of Kroos attending the 2017 FIFA awards. If you like seeing those kinds of nuggets, then you will enjoy this film.

5 Soccer Movie Mom Rating = 5