Germany international midfielder TONI KROOS (39) on the ball for BAYERN MUNICH during the 2011 Liga Total Cup 3rd Place Match opposite FSV Mainz at the brand new Coface Arena in Rhineland-Palatinate; in the tournament, the 21-year-old scored the Bavarians’ lone goal in the semi-final loss to SV Hamburg and successfully converted his penalty against the hosts in the consolation.
Four-fifths of the midfield in the Startelf of BAYERN MUNICH for the up-coming 2011-12 campaign seems set at this point in time. In all likelihood, Holland’s ARJEN ROBBEN and France’s FRANCK RIBERY will operate as the wingers with Germany’s THOMAS MUELLER as the central attacking midfielder. And a fourth performer for his country’s national team at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, Germany’s BASTIAN SCHWEINSTEIGER, will be deployed to occupy one of the two defensive slots in the middle of the pitch.
Two veteran internationals, ANATOLI TYMOSHCUK (106 caps for Ukraine) and DANIJEL PRANJIC (39 caps for Croatia), both netted penalties for Bayern Munich against FSV Mainz in the Liga Total Cup and are, theoretically, in contention for the fifth and final midfield position; the Brazilian LUIZ GUSTAVO, the 24-year-old purchased from TSG Hoffenheim for 15.0 million Euros last winter, and the 19-year-old Austria international DAVID ALABA, who has scored two goals on his last two Testspiel appearances this summer, are other serious options for this season’s in-coming trainer, JUPP HEYNCKES.
The last place in midfield, however, could be very well filled by yet another participant at last summer’s World Cup in South Africa, youthful Germany international TONI KROOS. It was, after all, under the tutelage of Heynckes that Kroos enjoyed a breakout year in the Bundesliga with nine goals from 33 matches during the 2009-10 campaign while out on loan at Bayer Leverkusen. After returning to Bavaria to start last season, the 21-year-old, whose first-ever goal as a 17-year-old at the club was a dramatic, 90th minute match-winner against Serbian side Red Star Belgrade in the UEFA Europa League, made 27 apperances (19 starts) and scored one goal for Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga.