Toni Kroos was living rent-free in Liverpool’s head on Tuesday night.
The former Bayern Munich magician put on an absolute masterclass during Real Madrid‘s 3-1 win in their Champions League quarter-final first leg at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano.
When he wasn’t forcing errors from Trent Alexander-Arnold and breaking up Liverpool attacks, Kroos was dictating the game with a rhythm of passes that were simply footballing poetry.
Kroos vs Liverpool
However, there could be no denying that Kroos’ finest contribution on the night was his jaw-dropping assist for Vinicius Junior that set the wheels in motion for Zinedine Zidane’s men to secure the win.
That’s because Kroos picked out an astonishing diagonal ball during the opening 45 minutes in Spain, essentially carving open the entire Liverpool midfield and defence in one fell swoop.
Kroos’ sizzling pass perfectly picked out the run of Vinicius who proceeded to control the delivery with the world-class deftness that it deserved, before finishing past Alisson Becker.
Stunning assist for Vinicius
And it’s easy to see why footage of Kroos’ assist went viral on social media because not only was it a stroke of footballing genius, but aesthetically pleasing to the point you can’t stop watching it.
You know what I mean, right? Besides, there are just certain moments in the beautiful game that are so damn pleasing on the eye that you can’t resist hitting that play button one more time.
And if that’s exactly how Kroos’ moment of magic made you feel – I wouldn’t blame you if that’s the case – then boy do we have a treat for you because it’s officially received the slow-motion treatment.
Whether it’s a knockout punch or dramatic putt, there are so many sporting moments of class that benefit from being shown at a speed that shows each and every step towards genius.
And from Kroos giving the subtlest of signals to Vinicius to the ball entering the stratosphere before finding its target, there’s no denying that it makes the pass even better. Check it out down below:
I’m going to call the Louvre right now because this needs its own exhibit.
Hang it in a musuem
It’s sometimes easy to forget just how incredibly talented that the world’s best footballers really are, but it’s simply irrefutable when we get to watch footage like this examine everything to the minutiae.
And although we’ll never be able to envisage how Kroos views the sport that he’s mastered, those tiny little glances and bodily mechanics give us a tantalising insight into his footballing genius.
Does that all sound hyperbolic? Perhaps, but anybody who watched Real’s win on Tuesday night will know that Kroos was playing the sort of football that deserves to be hung up in a museum.