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Former player: Bayern’s CEO didn’t believe Toni Kroos was world-class

Kroos felt undervalued during his later days at Bayern, according to Stefan Reinartz

FC Bayern Muenchen v Real Madrid  - Audi Cup 2015 Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Bongarts/Getty Images

In a recent interview, Toni Kroos’ former German international teammate Stefan Reinartz discussed Kroos’ time and departure at Bayern Munich. The interview is fascinating, and gives perhaps the closest perspective we’ll get to the situation from Kroos’ point of view.

Reinartz said as things were getting rocky between Kroos and Bayern management, Kroos was incredibly aware of what his midfield peer Mario Gotze was earning:

"It was a little bit about money. Bayern Munich offered Toni a new contract. Toni knew what Mario Gotze was earning at Bayern Munich; Toni and Mario Gotze are [roughly] the same age. Bayern Munich didn't want to pay Toni more than €10 million.

Reinartz also discussed how Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge viewed Kroos, including that he wasn’t a world-class player:

"Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told Toni: 'We won't pay you more than €10 million a year because you're not a world-class player.' If you know Toni, it's not about money. He needs the confidence of other people. He knew he was a very good player, a world-class player. That was the breaking point."

How Rummenigge viewed Kroos turned out to be the breaking point for Kroos’ relationship with Bayern, Reinartz said. It didn’t matter that former manager Pep Guardiola wanted to keep Kroos in Germany:

"Guardiola tried everything. He went crazy that Bayern Munich didn't sign him for longer, but it was not possible because of the stance of Rummenigge. It was a no-go."

According to ESPN FC’s Mark Lovell, Kroos’ silent and shy persona didn’t fare well with the media.

"He's just highly underrated. He's respected but not loved in Germany. Kroos wasn't fully appreciated at Bayern Munich and in Germany at large. He was heavily criticised for failing to volunteer for a penalty during the club's loss at home to Chelsea in the final of the 2012 Champions League. His strength of character was questioned.

"He was considered a shy type of guy. He wouldn't be considered very open. He was very uncomfortable talking to the media as opposed to the bigger stars in Bayern at the time. Whereas Muller would brush things off with a sense of humour, and Schweinsteiger had been dealing with the press for years, Kroos was always very reserved, and there's a fine line whether you're considered arrogant or aloof. That's always in the perception of whoever is writing the article—what is his narrative."

Reinartz giving Kroos’ perspective may be the closest we get to hearing from Kroos himself on how he viewed the entire situation.

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