In today's football, if you don't have speed, you're worth nothing

Words from Dietmar Hamann, who disapproves of the return of the Real Madrid midfielder to the German national team.

In today's football, if you don't have speed, you're worth nothing
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Dietmar Hamann expressed his concerns on Monday following the announcement by Julian Nagelsmann regarding Toni Kroos's return to the German national team, three years after the midfielder had stepped away from international duties.

With the European Championship 2024 on the horizon, set to be hosted by Germany, the decision has sparked a debate about the team's strategy and composition.

Hamann, a former player for the German national team, shared his critique live on Sky Sports, questioning the rationale behind reintegrating Kroos into "Die Mannschaft." Despite acknowledging Kroos's exceptional talent and his illustrious career, Hamann highlighted potential tactical and physical limitations that his return could impose on the team.

Kroos, celebrated for his role in a Real Madrid side that has seen tremendous success, benefits from playing alongside dynamic midfielders like Camavinga, Valverde, and occasionally Tchouaméni. Hamann pointed out that while these players are among the world's elite, enabling Real Madrid to dominate play, the German national team has struggled to exert similar control in matches against teams like Turkey or Austria.

Further emphasizing his point, Hamann noted the ages of players like Pascal Gross (32), Ilkay Gundogan (33), and Toni Kroos (34), whose collective years nearly sum up to a century. He raised concerns about the physical demands of modern football, suggesting that a midfield trio surpassing the age of 30 might lack the requisite pace and stamina to compete effectively on the international stage.

Hamann argued that the success Kroos enjoys at the club level is partly due to the presence of teammates capable of compensating for his lack of speed with their own agility and vigor. He stressed the importance of incorporating speed within the team, stating, "In modern football, if you don't have speed in your team, you're worth nothing."

This critique opens up a broader conversation about the balance between experience and youth in football teams, especially in high-stakes tournaments like the European Championship and the World Cup. Hamann's comments reflect a concern that the inclusion of older, albeit highly skilled, players may not align with the fast-paced nature of contemporary football, posing a strategic dilemma for the German national team as it prepares to compete on home soil in 2024.