When Real Madrid take on Manchester United in the UEFA Super Cup this Tuesday, Toni Kroos can expect to be in the starting lineup, as he is the only player in the squad to represent Los Blancos as often as star man Cristiano Ronaldo.
Since his arrival in the summer of 2014, the German has played 147 of the team’s 171 official matches, which is 86 percent of all games and which is just one behind Ronaldo’s tally of 148.
In fact, with Ronaldo not certain to take part in the match against his former club, Kroos should this week pull level with the Portuguese in terms of post-2014 World Cup appearances in a Real Madrid shirt.
The reason Kroos plays at a similar frequency as the No.7 is obvious, that he performs at a consistently high level and that he has maintained good fitness and hasn’t suffered as many injuries as midfield colleagues Luka Modric and Casemiro.
Given that he is racking up close to 50 appearances per season, he could even break the 200 appearances mark by the end of this upcoming campaign.
In his first year, he played 55 of the 59 matches contested under Carlo Ancelotti, before taking part in 44 the following year, with the reduction partly explained by the fact that Los Blancos played fewer games due to their early Copa del Rey disqualification.
Then in 2016/17 he played in 48 of the 60 games, once again playing often even though Zinedine Zidane wanted to rotate his starters.
Add to that the fact that he cost the capital city club just 30 million euros and that makes his transfer one of the best value ones in recent years.