There’s only been one repeat champion in the FIFA World Cup and that occurred over five decades ago when Brazil won back-to-back titles in 1958 and 1962. Germany is about to defend their 2014 championship with midfielder Toni Kroos of Real Madrid once again joining the national team when they face Mexico in their opening match Sunday, June 17 on Fox Sports 1.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be played in Russia and this Group F match will take place at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, which is seven hours ahead of the east coast United States.
This is Kroos’ second FIFA World Cup as he was a key factor in Germany’s 2014 title. In the semi-final against Brazil, the host nation in 2014, Kroos put two in the net just two minutes apart in a 7-1 rally that set up the final match with Argentina, which Germany won 1-0. Kroos was a finalist for FIFA’s Golden Ball award for the tournament’s best player, which statistically (including assists), he was. The Brazilian’s nicknamed him “Garcom,” which is Portugese for “waiter” in praise of his ability to deliver the ball to his teammates at just the right time.
Along with international success, Kroos has enjoyed a solid professional career that began with Bayern Munich and continues today with Real Madrid. As the German’s enter World Cup play, his only focus is to match the Brazilian’s as repeat champions and also join them as the only teams to win five FIFA World Cups.
Born: Jan. 4, 1990
Birthplace: Greifswald, East Germany
Height: 6 foot
Teams: Real Madrid, 2014-present; Bayern Munich, 2007-2014
Honors and Achievements: FIFA World Cup Champion, 2014; UEFA Champions League titles, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2018