Toni Kroos sat down with Real Madrid TV and was given the difficult task of picking a five-a-side Real Madrid legends team. The German was diplomatic in his choices, excluding any current teammates, but notably left out some big names. There was no space for Alfredo Di Stefano, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ferenc Puskas, or even former teammate — a man Kroos hailed as his “best ever captain”, Sergio Ramos.
The team was made up of one goalkeeper, a defender, two midfielders, and a striker. Iker Casillas would provide the coverage in-between the posts. Roberto Carlos was given the nod as the team’s defender. Kroos’ former manager, Zinedine Zidane, was selected as one of the two midfielders. The other selection in midfield was a real surprise, a compatriot, Uli Stielike, received the nod. And finally, the player to bang in all the goals was Raul Gonzalez Blanco.
During the Coronavirus pandemic, Managing Madrid had a “Ranking” series, looking back at players of different nationalities to have played for Real Madrid. Those players were ranked based on their career with the club and compared against their compatriots. The German rankings can be found here. Uli Stielike came in as the #2 all time German to play for the club, just behind Toni Kroos himself.
The inclusion of Stielike in Toni Kroos’ five-a-side team was recognition from Kroos on the storied career Stielike had with Los Blancos. Stielike forged a path for German central midfielders prior to Kroos’ arrival at the club many decades later.