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‘I'm in very good form’

Two-goal Toni stakes claim for Germany start

Miroslav Klose has seen it all, but even the veteran is impressed. “Their shooting skills are superb. I see it every day in training," said the striker, praising Germany's two-goal men from the 6-1 romp against Ireland. The pair are Marco Reus – and Bayern's Toni Kroos, Germany's super sub. The 34-year-old Klose was by no means the only person impressed by Kroos’ outing in Dublin.

After he came on at the Aviva Stadium, the 22-year-old needed just 22 minutes on the field to double his previous tally in national colours. Toni is a fixture in the Bayern midfield these days and has been in peak form so far this season, but he is now staking a claim for a starting role in Joachim Löw’s team to face Sweden next Tuesday.

Brimming with confidence

“Obviously you're disappointed when you've made such a good start to the season but don't play. But it's not something I can influence," opined the versatile schemer, “naturally, we have tremendous quality and many options, especially in midfield. But those who know me are well aware that I have confidence in myself, and it's my opinion that I ought to be playing somewhere."

Löw does not entirely agree. At Euro 2012, Kroos only made a start in the semi-final against Italy when the Germany coach attempted to overcome the Azzurri with a specific set of tactics. However, the player laid out his credentials in spectacular fashion last Friday in Ireland. “I've arrived in very good form, and I went out and confirmed it, no more and no less," Kroos declared.

Bierhoff delighted with battle for places

The German FA and national team management is naturally pleased its stars are desperate to play whatever it takes. “A fight for places is always good," commented Oliver Bierhoff, “you see it at Bayern, and you see it with us. Toni showed his quality, and that's always good." And Toni wants more.