XtraTime Web Desk: After losing it to Philipp Lahm in the season 2016-17, Germany’s star midfielder Toni Kroos was named German Footballer of the Year for the first time in his career on Sunday.
The Association of German Sports Journalists (VDS), in conjunction with football magazine Kicker, gave the midfielder 185 of the 475 votes cast to ensure he won the award, which he was beaten to by Philipp Lahm in 2017-18, for the first time in his career.
The 28-year-old was a key member of the Madrid side that claimed a third successive Champions League title by beating Liverpool 3-1 in Kiev in May, adding to the UEFA Super Cup, Supercopa de Espana and Club World Cup titles claimed earlier in the season.
Freiburg striker Nils Petersen came second with 39 votes, while Schalke defender Naldo finished third after receiving one ballot fewer.
“It is and always will be an honour to be Footballer of the Year,” Kroos told Kicker. “This is a prize that is not easy to get, and not everyone gets.”
Former Bayern Munich boss Jupp Heynckes gained two votes more than Domenico Tedesco to take the Coach of the Year award.
The 73-year-old replaced Carlo Ancelotti last October for his fourth stint in charge of Bayern and clinched their sixth straight Bundesliga title, with Tedesco leading Schalke to second.
“I am very pleased that I have been voted Coach of the Year by journalists,” said Heynckes. “My big compliment goes to those who did not vote for me because there are many good young coaches in the Bundesliga who also deserve this honour.”
On Kroos, he added: “When I got word from Kicker that Toni Kroos was voted Footballer of the Year, I was very happy for him. More so because – I can say in all modesty – I helped in his career.
“In my long career as a coach I had a tremendous number of talented players, but with Toni Kroos I quickly felt he was willing to take the professional path.
“Not only did he listen to and internalise what he was told, he also implemented instructions. He maintained this behaviour for years and the result is a great career.”
Dzsenifer Marozsan was named Footballer of the Year for the second time in succession in the women’s category after helping Lyon to Champions League success.