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The Unbreakable Bond Between Toni Kroos and His Trusted Adidas Boots

The Unbreakable Bond Between Toni Kroos and His Trusted Adidas Boots

Delightful through-balls, scenic long-range passes and pings, crisp shots from distance, impeccable control and passing accuracy with utmost press resistance, Toni Kroos is a master of his craft. Probably one of the most-appreciated yet underrated players of his generation. If not of all-time.

There is nothing wrong with that claim. Putting Europe on notice whilst on loan at Bayer Leverkusen from Bayern Munich, Kroos has been a recipient of success since his early days. 

A trophy-laden period with Bayern, winning three Bundesliga titles and one Champions League alongside many German domestic cups, playing under the likes of Jupp Heynckes and Pep Guardiola, earned him a dream move to Real Madrid in the 2014/15 season, a move considered by many fans, the steal of the century with respect to his transfer fee.

What we know of Kroos today is primarily down to his glittering Madrid career. Los Blancos, as Madrid are called, went on a European domination with Kroos on their roster, winning four Champions League titles, including the historic ‘three-peat’ under Zinedine Zidane. Even now, under Ancelotti, at the age of 34, Toni remains as integral as ever, now guiding the young, expensive and talented midfield assembled by Madrid.

Blinded by the shine from his trophies, it often goes under the radar, the fact that Toni Kroos was part of the World Cup winning team of 2014 with Germany. A pivotal player for Joachim Löw, the then German coach, Kroos was the general behind Germany’s golden generation’s golden win over Lionel Messi’s Argentina in the Final. 

While Kroos has been a part of various set-ups over the years, playing under different managers and with ranging styles of play, glory-hunting has been a constant. While some consider it excellence on part of the player, his influence, if you look closely enough, there’s more to it than meets the eye. 

Like a multitude of players, Toni Kroos too, is superstitious. Antoine Griezmann’s full-sleeve jersey, Ronaldo’s vertical jump whilst entering the field, Luis Suarez’s tape on his hand, the list is endless. For Kroos, it is his adidas 11pro boots. 

The boots dropped way back in 2013, eleven years ago now, and Kroos has been donning them ever since. Adidas even discontinued their production of the boot too, but Kroos seems to have a very special deal with them, with the German brand continuing its manufacture of the cleats only for him.

As Relevo, a popular Spanish sports publication, reported that Toni Kroos has a ‘different agreement with Adidas than any other footballer where they carry out different collaborations with him in exchange for a fee and a yearly supply of his trademark boots’. As expected, Adidas have tried numerous times to get Kroos to try new boots but to no one’s surprise, he has always rejected it. It is also reported that he ‘carries three pairs of the boot in his locker at all times, one for matches, one for training sessions, and another one as an emergency’.

Why? People ask. Some consider it as brand loyalty. Since Adidas is a German brand, Toni Kroos, as a proud German himself, wants to don a nifty pair made by one. Others say it to be simply comfort. Adidas hit it off with a fantastic boot with all the right measurements and features to suit Kroos’ movement and style of play, making him feel committed to the 11pro. While these reasons are plausible, it might just be, as mentioned before, a case of superstition. 

Bayern Munich won a historic treble in the 2013, the year Adidas launched the boot. Kroos was a part of this formidable, fearsome Bayern side and as a ritual, took these boots with him to Brazil for 2014 World Cup, where again, he played a starring role and his country clinched the biggest prize there is in football. Not really a coincidence anymore, is it? His boots really are the secret.

At Real Madrid now, Kroos has continued to glide on the pitch, sporting the same model. It may have bought him comfort but also, success. Be it a league game against Mallorca or a Champions League final against the mighty Liverpool, the formation might change, there might be substitutions, but Kroos will be there, constant, so too his adidas 11pro boots on his magical feet. It is also worth noting how well he takes care of them, washing the boots himself before games, squashing any doubts about the one-sided nature of this bond. Also considering the amount of silverware he has collected, who really can blame him for blindly trusting the boot. Surely his team-mates don’t sweat it either.

There are many players who stay loyal to their club, their country, but there is only one Toni Kroos, in terms of technique, class and brand preference, who has pledged his allegiance to his comfy pair of adidas 11pro boots and continues to do so. 

Tune into the Champions League clash between Real Madrid and Man City on Tuesday to catch them in action, in tandem and in sync and of course, Kroos.