Bayern Munich fans would have woken up to the news this morning that Toni Kroos has signed for Real Madrid.
The iconic midfielder, who enjoyed a fine World Cup, has signed a six-year contract at the Spanish giants for a fee believed to be in the region of €30 million.
In reality, it was the 24-year-old's dream to make his switch to the Santiago Bernabeu outfit after spending eight years of highs and lows at Bayern Munich.
The Greifswald born holding midfielder will ditch the likes of tika-taka football which has plagued Bayern for the past season and move to a team which is doing everything right at this moment in time to steal the “best club in the world” title from the German outfit.
Indeed, although the majority of Bayern fans will rather don a hated Borussia Dortmund shirt and express their passion for all things Jurgen Klopp and Kevin Grosskreutz, rather to admit that their own club is sinking faster than the Titanic unless things change.
Just a year ago everyone was praising and getting emotional about the possibility of experiencing half a decade of Bayern supremacy upon the international stage, whilst the other household names of European football such as Real Madrid and Barcelona would continue to fold.
Don’t get me wrong, Guardiola has done a half-decent job in securing the average double of the Bundesliga and DFB Pokal titles, but this has become the norm over the past few years, especially from a Bayern viewpoint.
Despite adding further fuel to their midfield machine in the form of Thiago Alcantara, a summer signing from Barcelona last season, the Allianz Arena outfit drew a blank last season especially as far as their real title ambitions were concerned.
Guardiola was expected to secure the historic triple, with the Champions League seen as the ultimate bragging right of club domination, but such a title was never in the pipelines and it’s not hard to see why.
If you ask someone who is not even remotely interested in football in the slightest and ask him to compare a Bayern Munich game from the 2012-13 campaign with the one just gone, and ask him or her to tell you what is different, that person would probably mention team-spirit.
Jupp Heycknes was able to do this to such an extent that they won the triple, despite not having the disposable quality which some of the bigger clubs have such as Chelsea and Barcelona.
Without unity and a feel of togetherness, Bayern revert to becoming a fairly average looking side to say the least and this was shown throughout the majority of last season as they struggled to implement their strength on the world stage.
Without trying to go too much away from the topic at hand, Kroos who has just guided his country to World Cup success in Brazil is a player who wants to continue his road of success, and Real Madrid is a perfect match.
Ronaldo and Co.
The 24-year-old will fit in perfectly to a well-oiled, athletic and gifted Real Madrid side which by the name of the summer could boast the names of Kroos, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez.
Unlike Bayern who look they are only to get weaker and weaker as they employ a football style which doesn't do the club any justice, Kroos and Real Madrid will only go from strength to strength.
The 24-year old was just not happy at Bayern last season and even if Real Madrid decided against a move it is obvious that he would have tried his luck elsewhere at either Chelsea, Manchester United or Barcelona.
Perhaps, more horrifying than his determination to leave the Allianz Arena was the club’s perceived lack of effort in trying to pull out all the stops in order to influence him to stay.
For a 24year-old, who dictates and reads the game better than any other football player out there, it is unmanageable to think that a club as big and wealthy as Bayern could not offer him the money in order to influence him to sign a new contract.
Bayern fans the world over will now realise that their beloved team has been deprived of its heart, and as a result will be more rigid and stagnant in play if they fail to purchase a suitable replacement.
Whilst the Real Madrid hierarchy are probably laughing their heads off regarding the minuscule price they paid for a player which is arguably more important to Bayern then their own, Karl-Heinz Rummingge will no doubt be wondering who to replace him with.
Indeed, the logical answer would be to put faith in Sebastian Rode who can play in the same position as Kroos and who only just joined from Bundesliga rivals, Eintracht Frankfurt this summer.
However, the player is unproven at this level and he might well go on to suffer from the big fish, small pond syndrome at Bayern, meaning that the only other option would be to dip their hand yet again into the transfer market.
Or the club could stay put and hope that Thiago develops into a player which can combine Kroos’ characteristics with his own preferred style of attacking play, which could surprise many people.
Bayern fans at this moment will no doubt get their hearts running at the prospect of the club putting in a €40 million bid for PSG’s Marco Veratti, or indeed high-jacking Real Madrid’s move for James Rodriguez of Monaco, but this although possible would seem unlikely at this moment in time.
Bayern rarely spend the same huge amounts of money like Barcelona and Chelsea do on transfers every year, and perhaps integrating further academy members into the first team such as Julian Green who deputised for the USA during this summer’s World Cup is a more sensible move.
It would be refreshing to see Bayern keep to their morals of not breaking the bank and using their highly awarded academy to find another Kroos, whilst at the same team keeping their authentic Bavarian feel.
Perhaps a midfield duo of Rode and Green is a more logical answer which might well surprise not only Bayern fans but the world of football for years to come.
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