If you’ve ever wondered how players decide how to carry out a decisive free kick, Toni Kroos gave some insight into what was said just before he scored the spectacular winning goal for Germany.
In the 95th minute of Germany’s crucial match against Sweden, Germany won a free kick within striking distance of the goal and Marco Reus and Kroos strode up to decide how to take it. “I shouted that he should cross it it,” Mats Hummels said after the game—but Kroos never heard him. He probably would have ignored the advice anyway.
Kroos’s thoughts were elsewhere. As he sized up the Swedish defenders lining up in their penalty area, he recalled, “Over the game, the Swedes had simply headed away high crosses.”
Marco first wanted to take a direct shot. I said to him, “Hmm, I’m not convinced.” And then we decided simply to put the ball briefly into play to get a better angle for the shot.
That little move caught Sweden’s defense off guard, and Kroos did the rest with a perfect shot into the far corner.
Here it is again: