Toni Kroos named German Footballer of the Year
For the first time in his career, Kroos has been named German Footballer of the Year for the 2017/18 season by the Association of German Sports Journalists and Kicker magazine. He received nearly 40% of the votes, beating out Nils Petersen and Naldo on the voting ballot.
Crucial in helping Real secure their 13th European championship and his late-minute heroics against South Korea in the World Cup, Kroos was undoubtedly the best German player last season across all leagues.
“It is and always will be an honour to be Footballer of the Year.”
“This is a prize that is not easy to get, and not everyone gets.”
He has proven that he is not only one of the best German midfielders currently, but certainly among the best midfielders in the world right now.
Lucas Vasquez believes Modric will stay in Madrid
While we’ve already heard from Lopetegui about Modric staying, Lucas Vasquez has also reassured that he believes Modric will be staying with the club.
“We are calm and counting on him. We hope he returns to enjoy Madrid. I have no doubt he will stay... well, you never know in football, but I think that Luka is a Madrid player and will continue to be so.”
“It’s how I feel, I’m not in his head, but I am sure that he wants to continue. We won’t get worked up.”
Juventus manager Allegri believes Real will succeed without Ronaldo
We’ve already heard from Marc-Andre Ter Stegen on Real being a great club without Ronaldo, now Max Allegri has put his thoughts in on the state of Real Madrid.
“Real Madrid is a great team, we’re happy to have Cristiano, especially on the international stage and the experience that he brings to the club. However, Real Madrid will always be a competitive club, with or without Cristiano.”
It will be interesting going forward to see what happens in the Champions League should these two clubs meet yet again this season with Ronaldo on the other side.
Lopetegui open to playing Asensio in a false nine role this season
With Ronaldo now gone, the opportunity for Marco Asensio to see more starting time is the likeliest is has been since he joined the club from Mallorca. While it was assumed he would start on the left side, Asensio may get a new role next season from Lopetegui as a false nine. He was put into this role when he came on for Isco against Juventus after the half and would go on to strike twice.
Lopetegui commented about Asensio’s new role:
“It’s an option. Preseason is a time when we can test different things and what we need to do is look for resources or different ideas within the team.”
“It was good to see him play at that position and he played extremely well. It’s not important where he plays but how he plays.”
I love these quotes from Lopetegui, it shows he is willing to “experiment” in order to get what they need with Ronaldo gone. Trying Asensio as a false 9 is a great idea that hopefully produces the same results as his performance against Juventus.
It also says a lot that Lopetegui thinks very highly of Asensio’s skills, pointing out that the position he is in doesn’t matter so much as how well he succeeds in those designated positions. He could find the false 9 as a great new position for him that ends up getting him into the first team more this season.