Day 1381 of lockdown: In this review, we take a look at one of EA’s perennial whipping boys in the German machine, Toni Kroos. I am not sure what the likes of Thiago, Lewandowski and Kroos himself have done to an employee at EA, but they simply get the ultimate disrespect year in and year out with their in-game statistics; the biggest slap in the face coming in the pace department. For Kroos this has condemned him to the depths of unassigned fodder piles for the majority of this year, until now. It was definitely the incredible 36+ pace boost from Kroos’ base card that has made all the difference and turned the German into a useable option. But they did not stop there, rounding off all base stats and leaving Kroos well planted in the Gullit Gang. It is worth noting that the gang has added many new members of late, but only a select few can bolster statistics of 90+ in Shooting, Dribbling, and Passing (only four other cards). After looking over all of Kroos' impressive attributes I went with the ENGINE chemistry style and deployed the Real Madrid locomotive in the more attacking CM of a 4-4-2. Toni Kroos was the metronome, keeping time all weekend in the following squad:
Pace Rating: 9/10
Dribbling Rating: 8/10
Shooting Rating: 9.5/10
Passing Rating: 9.9/10
Physical Rating: 9/10
Defending Rating: 9/10
There have been a few questions and concerns about the ratings of late and so I wanted to address the why with this card (something I plan to do in the future in this section). I went with a 9/10 with this card for a few reasons. One, the direct comparison to a more recent review in Thiago who I believe was rightly given a 9.2. Kroos has many superior attributes, but the agility and movement of Thiago is more suited to the FIFA 20 meta. 2. I cannot go lower than a 9/10 as that would suggest a card that is borderline not useable. Kroos has many fantastic qualities and was a key to my Elite finish this weekend.
With that out of the way let’s dive into some details starting with the biggest enigma about this card, the pace. 95 ACCELERATION, but only 78 SPRINT SPEED were amazingly accurate. I could not believe how fast Kroos moves when he picks up the ball in space or immediately after a tackle. However, he hits top gear in about three strides and your opponent is immediately closing in on you. If you are quick with your play it is not a big issue offensively, but defensively it did cause problems when tracking opponents.
Linkability Rating: 4/5
Again… seriously I feel like a broken record in this section. The old Galácticos model feels in full effect with the growing list of Real Madrid superstars available in FIFA 20. Especially after the release of the TOTSSF which offered some excellent options. Additionally, the growing list of German options is about to be significantly bolstered by the Bundesliga TOTSSF. Given the centralized position of this card, there is no doubt you can get Kroos in the majority of squads.
End Game Strength
End Game Strength Rating: 4/5
As much as I enjoyed this card throughout the weekend, there is just no way Kroos will survive the onslaught of cards to come. Honestly, you would think it is the pace judging by the statistics … but for me, it was the dribbling that will rule this card out of future squad equations. You can blame 76 AGILITY as the culprit that will cripple this card, while a taller 6’0 (183 cm) card and AVERAGE body type are not helping matters at all. This card simply cannot turn with any type of pace and takes away from a lot of options in the middle of the pitch. I tried Kroos in both a deeper and attacking CM and in both cases the turning was a huge deficiency. Finally, add in the 3 STAR SKILLS and this card is just a quagmire of terrible dribbling, which is ironic given it is his second highest base statistic.
Value/Coins & Good vs. Bad
Value/Coins Rating: 5/5
Good vs Bad Rating: 4.5/5
While he might not last the test of time, I do believe Kroos is more than a useable option at the moment and well worth 200k (an absurd price and speaks to the FUT disrespect this man gets). I called him the metronome earlier because metronomes keep time, rhythm and the beat of the music, and I honestly felt Kroos was the conductor in the sympathy of my squad all weekend. The two keys here are the surprising acceleration upping the tempo while his outrageous passing created the pulse of the squad. The ENGINE chemistry puts all in-game passing statistics at 99 and you can actually feel the quality. While 9 assists from CM is not a blockbuster return, it was the play before my goals that Kroos positively impacted all weekend.
While the good far outweighs the bad, the fact that Kroos falls outside of the meta with his dribbling leaves him beyond a perfect 5/5 for me. Yet, it is worth noting there are not many other issues… in fact, the card is insane otherwise. 5 STAR WEAK FOOT with 97 SHOT POWER & 96 LONG SHOTS leads to some incredibly entertaining efforts from distance. Unfortunately, the entertainment continues with his 84 FINISHING as you never quite know where the ball will end up and which member of the crowd might be in danger. 7 goals certainly could have been higher given the quality positions Kroos put himself in throughout the weekend.
The final category I have missed is the defending with this card. As I said before I did try Kroos in a more defensive role but I just felt he could not get around the pitch quick enough in a two man midfield. However, as a more attacking CM, I did notice the card intelligence when tracking back (and 92 STAMINA held up box to box given the Med/Med work rates). Kroos would constantly make the correct tracking runs to help in defence and his 93 INTERCEPTIONS felt more like 193. I swear this card is constantly breaking up play and was a huge addition in the midfield this weekend. In the end, what I would say about Kroos is that if you need him to fit into your squad and do a job… he will. If you need him to be the game changer and run the midfield… he can’t. Instead, he is a facilitator and if surrounded by the right players can create magic in the middle. He did for me, and he would do the same for you. Cheers for reading.