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Toni Kroos – from small-town Germany to glory in Madrid

first_img“Toni Kroos is a huge role model for me,” said teenager Ben Ole, a midfielder in Griefswalder’s Under-15 team, who has neither met Kroos nor seen him play live.“We can be proud that such a great star learned to play football in Greifswald.”Kroos rarely returns to the sleepy city, population just 50,000, where his father, Roland, still trains the first team and his success for Real and Germany is closely followed.The success of the Kroos brothers — Toni’s sibling Felix Kroos plays for second division Berlin-based club FC Union – is a point of enormous pride.“He (Toni) contacts us through WhatsApp, for birthdays or special occasions,” says his former coach Wolfgang Toeller, 60.“Answers don’t come back the same minute, but we are still friends with Roland and his mother.“Among my work colleagues, everyone is very proud of Toni, we always talk about him and comment on his performance.”– Precocious talent –Former football youth coaches of German national soccer player Toni Kroos, Wolfgang Toellner (L) and Hartmut Schmidt, pose for photographs at the ‘Volksstadtion’ stadium in Greifswald, northeastern Germany, on May 9, 2018. © AFP / Tobias SCHWARZThe club’s tree-lined stadium is where Kroos first dreamt of becoming a world champion.“It was there,” said Toeller, pointing to one of the training pitches.“I can still remember it clearly.“He was six years old, behind the hand-rail with his father, it was a youth team training session.“His father asked us if he could participate, we said ‘yes, why not?’.“Straight away, you could see he was so good that at the end of the training, we said: ‘He can come back when he wants to’.“Toni was very small, he was two or three years younger than the kids in the group, but you could see from the way he moved and his positioning, he was a natural.”Hartmut Schmidt, who shared the junior coaching job with Toeller, remembers the tiny boy with enormous talent.“He wasn’t going to school yet and couldn’t even write,” said Schmidt, 64.“I remember how his mother held his hand when he signed his first permit to play.”Kroos was born in January 1990, two months after the Berlin Wall came down.His father had played for Griefswalder and his mother, Birgit, is a former East German badminton champion.“They took great care of the boys, they took care of their nutrition, their sleep, and generally all that is important for athletes,” says Toeller.– ‘Hearts beat for Madrid’ –Kroos was 12 when he was spotted by Hansa Rostock, the biggest club in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and 100km (60 miles) west of Greifswald.To make sure the youngster had the support he needed, Hansa hired Kroos’ father as an Under-17 coach and the whole family moved.It was the first steps on the path to the Santiago Bernabeu.At the age of 16, Bayern snapped Kroos up for their youth academy, and he started his professional career there in 2007, creating two goals in just 18 minutes on his senior debut off the bench in a 5-0 drubbing of Energie Cottbus.He was sent on loan to Bayer Leverkusen for the 2009-10 season, but when Kroos returned to Bayern he was a key factor in winning the 2013 treble of Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup.However, Kroos missed the 2-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the 2013 Champions League final at Wembley due to injury.A football jersey of German national soccer player Toni Kroos is pictured inside the club restaurant at the ‘Volksstadtion’ stadium in Greifswald, northeastern Germany, on May 9, 2018. © AFP / Tobias SCHWARZHe made 205 appearances for Bayern, but Kroos joined Real in 2014 after the German club’s chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told him he “wasn’t a world-class player”.The huge amount of silverware Kroos has so far won in Spain — including a third straight Champions League title in Kiev last Saturday — has left the Bayern chief eating his words.Having a former Griefswalder FC player at Europe’s top club means there is a small enclave of Real Madrid fans in north Germany.“When Real played Bayern in the Champions League (semi-finals), our hearts beat for Madrid,” admitted Schmidt.0Shares0000(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Liverpool’s English midfielder James Milner (L) and Real Madrid’s German midfielder Toni Kroos vie for the ball during the UEFA Champions League final football match between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine on May 26, 2018. © AFP / Sergei SUPINSKYBERLIN, Germany, May 30 – Minnows Greifswalder FC are a world away from Real Madrid, yet World Cup winner Toni Kroos is the local hero in the small north German city on the Baltic coast.Greifswalder, who have just won promotion from Germany’s sixth tier, is where Kroos started his career as a six-year-old before joining Hansa Rostock, then Bayern Munich and ultimately Real in 2014 after helping Germany win the World Cup in Brazil.last_img read more

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Harbhajan Singh’s reply to Virat Kohli’s social media post is epic

first_imgVirat Kohli might have endured another disappointing IPL season with Royal Challengers Bangalore, but the star appeal of the India captain keeps rising with every passing day. He has also emerged as one of the style icons in the country with his regular posts on social media platforms like Instagram.Kohli is today one of the highest earning sportspersons in the world. That is the reason when Kohli posted a picture from what looks like an ad-shoot on Instagram, none other than a former India teammate and current Chennai Super Kings spinner Harbhajan Singh didn’t waste any opportunity of trolling the RCB skipper.Kohli had captioned the image: “Every day is an opportunity to learn and grow. Stay humble.” Fans were shocked and amused at Harbhajan’s cheeky reply: “Everyday, there is an opportunity for you to make more and more $£ shhhh.”While Harbhajan is set to feature in the CSK lineup when the defending champions take on Delhi Capitals tonight in Vizag, Kohli has been left licking his wounds after RCB bowed out of the tournament finish last on the points table. Virat Kohli’s post on Instagram (Instagram: virat.kohli)Kohli is now focussing on India’s campaign at the 2019 World Cup in England which starts from May 30, with the Men in Blue playing their 1st match against South Africa on June 5.advertisementAlso Read | Virat Kohli doesn’t have game reading quality like MS Dhoni: CoachAlso Read | Ishant Sharma recalls banter with Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in IPL 2019last_img read more

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Sri Lanka orders return of smuggled British garbage

first_imgColombo: Sri Lanka customs Tuesday ordered the return of container loads of hazardous mortuary and clinical waste illegally imported into the island from Britain under the cover of metal recycling. Customs officials said the racket dating back to 2017 was uncovered after the Colombo port complained last week that an importer had abandoned 111 containers which were emanating a huge stink. A total of 241 containers had been imported since 2017 and 130 of them had been taken to a free-trade zone ostensibly for recycling and re-export, customs spokesman Sunil Jayaratne said. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”We are taking immediate action to order the re-export of the 111 containers abandoned at the port,” Jayaratne said. “The other 130 which had already been cleared from the port will be dealt under environmental and other laws.” He said the 130 containers were stuffed with used mattresses and plastic and clinical waste imported in violation of international laws governing the shipping of hazardous material. A Sri Lankan businessman who imported the containers would be liable for criminal prosecution if he failed to re-export them to Britain, from where they originated, Jayaratne said. An official at the finance ministry, which is responsible for the customs department, said it would take up the issue with British authorities for exporting hazardous cargo without first checking if Sri Lanka was willing to accept it. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls”This is a well-organised racket that has been going on since 2017,” said the official, speaking anonymously because he was not authorised to talk to the media. The 111 containers are believed to contain mortuary waste including human organs and had been unloaded and exposed to the elements for the past two years. The 130 containers taken to a free-trade zone near Colombo International Airport were contaminating water and polluting the air in the area, he said. Sri Lanka’s pushback on imported trash came as Indonesia and the Philippines returned shipments of foreign rubbish to their originating ports.last_img read more

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New legislation prohibits unregulated custody transfers of adopted children

first_img Categories: Vaupel News Bill package helps ensure the safety of adopted kids Legislators today introduced a four-bill package to prohibit and punish the practice of informal child custody transfers.“In some cases, parents are using online forums to offer adopted children to strangers, which results in children being ‘rehomed’ into potentially abusive and unsafe environments,” said Rep. McCready, R-Bloomfield Hills. “Parents should not be allowed to permanently place a child under the care of another person without any oversight.”House Bill 5629, sponsored by Rep. McCready, prohibits a parent from transferring custody of a child for more than 180 days. Current law allows a temporary custody transfer to take place, using a power of attorney, if it does not exceed 180 days.HB 5628, sponsored by Rep. Hank Vaupel, criminalizes the transfer of custody with the intent to permanently divest oneself of parental responsibility, and also prohibits assisting or arranging an unregulated custody transfer.“This is about what’s best for children’s safety, plain and simple,” said Rep. Vaupel, R-Fowlerville. “Every child in Michigan deserves to be raised in a safe and secure home environment. These bills prevent an unregulated custody practice that can put children in danger.”HB 5626, sponsored by Rep. Tom Hooker, prohibits a person from advertising for potential adoptive parents without court involvement. HB 5627, also sponsored by Rep. Hooker, classifies soliciting a child for adoption as a Class F felony.“Children are our most precious treasure, requiring love and nurturing,” said Rep. Hooker, R-Byron Center. “Any person who tries to market children as a commodity deserves to be stopped and punished.”The bills were referred to the House Committee on Judiciary for consideration.Sen. Rick Jones has introduced similar legislation, Senate Bills 923-926.“We have a responsibility to all Michigan children to protect their safety,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “We don’t want to see people advertising children on the Internet. Children are not for sale. Plus, we never know who will respond; they could be a child abuser or a child molester. Ensuring proper precautions are taken is the best way to protect these children.”##### 04May New legislation prohibits unregulated custody transfers of adopted childrenlast_img read more

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