Toni Kroos’ lack of arrogance and calmness hailed after ‘really powerful’ team talk

Julian Nagelsmann says Toni Kroos’ lack of arrogance and “really powerful” words helped inspire Germany’s 5-1 win over Scotland in the opening game of Euro 2024.

The Germans kicked off the tournament in fine style, as goals from Florian Wirtz, Jamal Musiala, Kai Havertz, Niclas Fullkrug, and Emre Can helped secure a commanding win over Steve Clarke’s outclassed side.

While much of the post-match attention focued on the performances of Wirtz and Musiala – the latter of whom ran Scotland ragged in an outstanding showing – it was another superb performance in midfield from 34-year-old Kroos that galvanised Germany.

Kroos completed 101 of his 102 attempted passes on the night and oozed calmness and composure in a game of high significance for Germany. In the past two World Cups, they have crashed out at the group stage, and didn’t fare much better at Euro 2020, losing to England in the round of 16.

After the game, Nagelsmann was quick to point out Kroos for being a “pole of calmness”, and revealed he’d played a big part in Germany’s dressing room preparations.

“He is very important, just like everyone else,” Nagelsmann told reporters. “He’s very experienced and calm.

“The team were really loud [before the game] and he [Kroos] said a few quiet words that were really powerful.

Julian Nagelsmann

Julian Nagelsmann was pleased with what he saw from Germany / Alexander Hassenstein/GettyImages

“He is part of the group, but that experience is what makes him different. With his record, some would have problems being accepted, but he is not arrogant, he is very important for the team and a pole of calmness.

“But despite all of his successes and status, we see him as part of the group.”

The former Bayern Munich boss continued: “I don’t want to talk about singling out players. It’s super interesting to see how our players became internationals. They had different paths, unique paths, but what unites us is that we are part of a group and this group has learned to protect every member of the group and make all around them look good.

“So I don’t want to talk about individuals. The team, the group won the game, and I hope the country now believes in us even more than before.”

Germany’s win has put them in pole position in Group A, leading Switzerland on goal difference after their 3-1 victory over Hungary in Saturday’s early game – Kwadwo Duah, Michel Aebischer and Breel Embolo the goalscorers for Murat Yakin’s side.


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