Kroos defends Schweinsteiger following recent criticism

The Bayern and Germany midfielder has supported his club and international team-mate after question marks over his long-term effectiveness from Olaf Thon and Gunter Netzer
Tony Kroos has leapt to the defence of his Bayern Munich and Germany team-mate Bastian Schweinsteiger following criticism of the 28-year-old in recent weeks.

Schweinsteiger, who has 97 international caps, has been criticised by former German players Olaf Thon and Gunter Netzer in the last week, with Thon claiming the Bayern midfielder is in decline and Netzer adamant that his place in the national side is under threat from youngster Ilkay Gundogan.

But Kroos brushed off the remarks, telling reporters: "I have not followed it very closely, but it always depends on who says something and how much weight it carries.

"A lot of people comment on certain things."

One of the Thon's comment's related to the fact that Schweinsteiger has lost his pace but Kroos was quick to respond, saying that speed has never been a key part of the midfielder's game.

"I have hardly ever seen Basti beat an opponent, throughout his entire career," he continued.

"He is a different type of player, who's important with his passes and his mere presence. Very few players in his position dribble a lot. So this is all nonsense for me.

"Basti is in fine form and put in a great performance against Schalke. This will not distract him."

Schweinsteiger has made 27 appearances for Bayern so far this season, scoring seven goals.