Though UEFA’s official Man of the Match Award after last night’s 1 - 1 draw between Shakhtar Donetsk and Real Madrid in Warsaw went to Artem Bondarenko; it is absolutely worth highlighting Toni Kroos, who was arguably the best player on the field. The German was a standout among Real Madrid players alongside other top performers Antonio Rudiger and Nacho Fernandez.
Kroos played in a double pivot alongside Aurelien Tchouameni, and was heavily involved in Real Madrid’s build-up. In fact, no player was on the ball more than him on the field. Kroos had 140 touches, the most of anyone on the pitch. For comparison, Lucas Vazquez, the player with the second most touches, had 82.
Kroos was magnificent on the ball. The German had five key passes, which was the most of anyone on the field. Of his 13 attempted long balls, he completed 11 of them — none more important than the gorgeous game-winning assist to Rudiger at the death:
This 95th-minute Antonio Rüdiger goal helped Real Madrid qualify for the #UCL knockout stage. pic.twitter.com/dwBXOknEYt— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) October 11, 2022
And perhaps the most underrated stat from Kroos last night: He had five completed tackles, which was the most of anyone on the field.