If you had to guess Toni Kroos' age off the top of your head, what would be the mental arithmetic taken to lead you to your decision?
Let's go back to the start. He broke onto the scene on loan at Bayer Leverkusen and then at the 2010 World Cup in a young team alongside Mesut Ozil and Thomas Muller, which was over 11 years ago (what a depressing and frightening realisation).
He won the Champions League with Bayern Munich (albeit while injured) in 2013 and forced a move to Real Madrid a year later, scooping three more European Cups in his prime.
Kroos hasn't been in the limelight as much in the last few years but is obviously still world class (welcome, by the way) and not exactly on a sharp decline. It would make sense for the correct answer to be 31. But then you hear that midfield Luka Modric is five years older and your mind is blown.
While it's bonkers that the Croatian is still competing at a high level, it at least makes sense because he blossomed later in his career, piecing together all he learned with Dinamo Zagreb, Tottenham, Real Madrid and the national team to take himself to the top of the game.
But Kroos has exclusively played at a high level and will surely continue to do so late into a career that could last the next decade.
13 trophies in seven years in the heart of Los Blancos' midfield is perhaps the greatest and only stat you need to measure how world class Kroos is, but if that wasn't enough, then you can fill your boots here.
While it's been an unusually quiet year on the trophy front for Real and Germany, Kroos has silently been peaking all over again.
Opta stats show that between January 1, 2021 and November 30, 2021, Kroos - a deep lying operator - created 71 chances, at least 13 more than any of his three rivals in #W2WC21. For comparison, Modric was the player who ranked in second with 58 chances in over 600 more minutes and eight more games.
The quality of those chances were clearly quite high as well as Kroos (12) registered the most assists than Modric (9), PSG's Marco Verratti (5) and Bayern Munich's Leon Goretzka (6).
The German (2560) is second to Modric (2690) from this quartet in terms of passes completed, though Kroos is the clear winner of the two when adjusted to passes per 90 minutes, pretty much making him Madrid's primary playmaker.
Kroos' 47 tackles show he's not afraid of getting stuck in either.
His place at the top of football is so unquestionable at this point that his biggest sliding doors moment - nearly joining David Moyes' Manchester United - now feels inconsequential. He would simply have turned the Red Devils a top team or ended up as a Galactico in Madrid anyway.