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Hitzfeld: 'Kroos will play for Germany one day'

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Hitzfeld: 'Kroos will play for Germany one day'

Postby FCBayernNews » Wed Aug 01, 2007 9:00 pm


For the time being, Toni Kroos has an easier time of it than Oliver Kahn and Co. when the squad appears at the Säbener Straße for training. Hardly any of the 3,000 fans swarming around the established stars paid him any attention as he left the dressing room in the direction of the youth quarters on Wednesday. Most, in fact, will not even have known his name.

Or rather, one should say, not yet. The club is convinced that the 17-year-old has the potential for a glorious career. "He'll play for Germany one day," declared head coach Ottmar Hitzfeld on the day after the Lukas Podolski farewell match against 1. FC Köln. A weakened Bayern side fell 3-1 on the evening, but Kroos completed the full 90 minutes and provided yet more evidence of his ability at the highest level.

<b>Inheritor of the number 10 shirt?</b>

"He's a full-blooded footballer with fantastic instincts. He always does the right thing without being told. He has vision, he has passing ability, but he also goes for goal himself. And he's also very well-built for his age,“ Hitzfeld remarked of the player who will only officially reach the U-19 category later this summer. General manager Uli Hoeneß has even informally hinted to journalists that he has mentally reserved the classic playmaker's number 10 shirt for Kroos.

The youngster enjoyed an initial taste of the first team training programme at the end of last season. "And he'd have played as well, if he'd been eligible," Hitzfeld revealed. Back in the spring, Kroos was simply too young for the seniors according to league regulations. Instead, he led the club U-19s to the final of the German championship.

<b>Kroos to be used sparingly</b>

In the meantime, the player has been licensed to appear in the Bundesliga and officially belongs to the first-team squad, although he has rarely been seen at training sessions. The midfielder is shuttling between Munich and the Germany U-17 squad, busily preparing for the World Cup in South Korea from 18 August to 9 September, although Hitzfeld would rather be working regularly with the gifted youth as he is planning to hand him a Bundesliga debut in the new season.

Kroos will maintain his match sharpness by appearing for the Bayern reserves in the third division south. "We don't want to overdo it. We'll use him sparingly," the coach explained, conceding he was fascinated at the prospect of watching the talented prodigy adapt to life in the German top flight. Peaceful anonymity after training could soon be come a thing of the past for young master Kroos.
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