Player name: Toni Kroos
Clubs: Greifswalder SC, Hansa Rostock, Bayern Munich, Bayer Leverkusen, Real Madrid
Position: Central midfield
Height: 6 ft 0 in
Toni Kroos is a German professional footballer who plays for La Liga club Real Madrid and the Germany national team. Kroos plays mainly as a central midfielder, but is also used as a defensive midfielder or deep-lying playmaker. He is known for his vision, creativity, passing, and set-piece ability, and is widely considered to be one of the best midfielders in the world.
Kroos began his senior club career playing for Bayern Munich, where he made his debut at age 17 in 2007. He was sparingly used, and quickly opted for an 18-month loan spell at fellow Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen, where he became a key contributor, and returned to his parent club with an increased profile in 2010. Kroos then became indispensable for the Bavarian club, and was critical to several successes, including two consecutive league titles, a UEFA Champions League title, and two DFB-Pokal titles. He was also voted into the league team of the season three times, before moving to Spain to join La Liga side Real Madrid in 2014, for a fee of €25 million.
What we've managed to get our hands on here (literally) is a sheer holy grail among the match worn football boot collecting world. The above pair of boots are Toni Kroos' match worn & hand signed Adidas Adipure 11Pro, which he wore during the 2015-16 season whilst playing for Real Madrid, including during the 2016 UEFA Champions League Final vs Atletico Madrid at the San Siro stadium in Milan on the 28th May 2016, which Real won on penalties to be crowned European champions...again. This also meant that Kroos was the first German ever to win the UCL with 2 different clubs.This pair really are that special that they belong in a museum.
In Madrid, Kroos became a vital part of the team under head coaches Carlo Ancelotti and Zinedine Zidane, and he helped Real win three consecutive UEFA Champions League titles from 2015–16 to 2017–18, each time being selected in the squad of the season. He also contributed heavily as the club captured a La Liga title in 2017, when he was also chosen for the team of the season, as well as another league title in 2020. Kroos was also voted into both the FIFPro World11 and UEFA Team of the Year in 2016 and 2017, and has won further championships, including five FIFA Club World Cup titles. In 2018, Kroos was named German Footballer of the Year by a selection of journalists and the publication kicker.
These days, it is fairly common knowledge among boot enthusiasts that Kroos has worn the same model of boots for around 6 years now, and it is still a bit of a shock to us all that Adidas actually not only allow this, but continue to produce them solely for him. One of their highest profile sponsored athletes, Real Madrid's number 8, being allowed to wear boots that do not promote or advertise their latest boots in any way shape or form. Over these years, Kroos' Adipure 11Pro has become absolutely iconic, but they aren't just any old Adipure 11Pro that the general public could go out and buy for themselves either, oh no...
Upon first glance, they may not seem all that different when compared to a regular Adipure 11Pro, however the only real similarities they share are the visual cosmetics, everything else from the build quality, to the soleplate, to the materials are completely custom just for the player as they are built to his specific requests.
After a successful youth international career, in which he won the Golden Player award and finished as top goalscorer in the UEFA European Under-17 Championship in 2006, and won the Golden Ball award for best player at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2007, Kroos made his senior debut for Germany in 2010. He scored his first international goal in 2011 in a friendly match against Poland, and has since been key to the national team, appearing in every major tournament Germany has qualified for, beginning with the 2010 FIFA World Cup. In 2014, Kroos led his country to victory in that year's World Cup, where he was the top assist provider and was selected to the All-Star team and Dream Team. He was also named German Player of the Year. At UEFA Euro 2016, Kroos was voted to the Team of the Tournament.
With Kroos being one of Adidas' top sponsored athlete's, his boots are of course custom made to measure at their Athlete Services factory, located in Herzogenaurach, Germany. The size label also states that this pair are a "sample", a complete one off model. Now another interesting fact is that this Adidas actually stopped applying the above style size tag in their professional players' made to measure boots back in 2013. From that point, Adidas have been applying the refreshed label design to boots from this factory which bare "Athlete Services, only the best for the athlete", along with the size of both the left and right shoe on the tag (as these can differ with pro's boots). This suggests that Kroos during the 2016 UEFA Champions League Final was wearing a pair of boots which at the time were a few years old, and the wear and tear on them only further points to that being the case. In the above picture, we can also see the soft white suede like material lining Adidas have applied to the thick padded tongue for Toni.
Above: the small split on the central instep seam of the left boot can be seen on a close up in game image of Kroos during the Final.
A tall and athletic right-footed midfielder, Kroos is known for the range and accuracy of his distribution with either foot, his technique, vision, creativity, reading of the game, and his ability to dictate play in midfield or set up goals with his passing and ball delivery from set-pieces; he is also capable of scoring goals himself, courtesy of his striking ability – in particular from long range – and his accuracy from free kicks. He has been described by Jonathan Wilson as "perhaps the archetype of the modern attacking midfielder". Wilson has also described Kroos as "dynamic and hardworking", and has praised him for his versatility, physical strength and ability to play in several midfield positions: in addition to his usual role, he has also been used in the centre as a deep-lying playmaker, on the flank, in a box-to-box role, or even as a defensive midfielder, due to his ability to both break up play, retain possession, and create chances for teammates. Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes said in 2014 that Kroos, "a top-class central midfielder", was the player that United most needed to sign.
The most visually noticeable difference on Kroos' version of the Adipure 11Pro is the custom FG soleplate, which is in fact from the Adipure iii which was released back in 2009. Its very simple bladed stud layout with raised heel construction is perfect for his style of play, and although Adidas have made it transparent (most custom soleplates are made transparent in order to disguise them) they haven't really done a great job in covering up the modification.
Above we can see Kroos' modified soleplate, with the retail version underneath it for comparison. They share quite literally no similarities whatsoever, whilst Adidas have made his custom plate transparent, they still didn't put the print of the retail version beneath it like they usually would with player's custom boots. Then again, as Adidas don't sell the 11Pro model anymore and haven't for many years, they won't be so bothered about disguising modifications on them seeing as they produce them for Kroos only.
The Adipure logo can be seen at the raised heel section at the rear of the soleplate.,, just the same as it was on the original Adipure iii.
Above: the wear marks to the leather on the outstep of the left boot can be seen on a close up in game image of Kroos during the Final.
During his career, Kroos has won a total of 26 major trophies, these include; 4x UEFA Champions League, 2x La Liga, 2x Spanish Super Cup, 3x Bundesliga, 3x German Cup, 5x FIFA Club World Cup, 2x German Super Cup, 4x UEFA Super Cup, and of course, the FIFA World Cup.
Like most parts on this pair of Toni Kroos' Adidas Adipure 11Pro match worn boots, the inside lining is also custom to the players request. This pair feature an incredibly soft white suede lining which runs from the lace area right down to the front of the boots. The fact that this is still so soft after they have been completely worn out speaks volumes for the build quality and material quality - imagine what they were like when new! "Sample not for resale" can also be seen printed inside each boot to the lateral side.
During his professional club career, Kroos has (so far) made a total of 199 goal involvements in 566 appearances, scoring 64 goals and making 135 assists... there are a lot of attacking players in elite level football who don't even have those kid of stats, so not a bad return from a player who is predominantly viewed as a defensive minded midfielder.
Inside the boots there are further modifications, the insole board features a thick sponge layer which runs the full length of each boot. Where most players often opt for modified insole boards for added rigidity and stiffness, Kroos has put comfort as his main priority with his boots, which seems to be the sole focus with this pair. Above we can also see just how narrow the boot is in the midfoot area, as they are specially made to measure for the player, this will be so that they accommodate his foot shape perfectly.
Prior to joining Real Madrid, Kroos had a deal in place to join Manchester United after agreeing terms with David Moyes. However, after Moyes was sacked and Louis van Gaal replaced him, the Dutch manager decided against signing Kroos. Around the time of the 2014 World Cup he received a call from Carlo Ancelotti, and well, the rest is history.
Another interesting point with this pair is the lack of name personalisation. Where most players like to have things such as their name, squad number, children's or other family member's names and so on, Kroos opts to simply just have the Germany flag at the heel of each boot - the man knows what he likes! Above we can also see that Kroos personally hand signed each boot, making them that extra bit special. Each signature is beautifully clear and unrushed.
Just like the boots themselves, the insoles are also completely customised. Like most players, Kroos has had special orthopaedic insoles made for him to suit his needs. They are made up of a thick sponge like material lined in a soft blue suede like material, which is still surprisingly soft still considering just how much use he got out of these. The thickness however is not consistent throughout, with the insoles being made very thin in the narrow midfoot area, but thick in both the heel and forefoot.
Like many top tier pros Kroos has cut his lace tips and burnt them off to prevent fraying, whether this was done by the player himself or the Real Madrid kit man however would remain a question. Due to the amount in which the player wore these there's sole separation in multiple places, however most interestingly is the front of the left boot, where grass from the hallowed San Siro turf is wedged between the sole and the upper itself.
Above: the wear and tear marks to the leather forefoot of the left boot matchable to an up close in game shot from the UCL Final.
Not only do this pair represent Kroos' playing style, but they also represent his personality. The simplistic design and high no nonsense build quality demonstrate that he is one of very few elite players in the modern game who does things the classic way, most just roll over and wear what their sponsors tell them to wear in order to promote the latest models at the time, whereas Kroos knows what he likes and the fact that Adidas still to this day produce this model only for him speaks volumes. Where most elite level players also change boots every few uses, it's clear that Kroos likes to wear his until they fall apart. A truly iconic pair of football boots.