Toni Kroos to retire after Euro 2024


Real Madrid and Germany midfielder Toni Kroos has announced he will retire from professional football following the conclusion of this summer’s European Championship.

The 34-year-old’s final match for Real Madrid will be the Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund on June 1 at Wembley, where the German has the chance to win his fifth European Cup with the club.

On Monday, Kroos informed Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti of his intention to end his career. A source inside the locker room said “we are broken.”

In a statement confirming his retirement on Tuesday, Kroos said: “Real Madrid is and will be my last club.”

He continued: “After 10 years, at the end of the season, this chapter comes to an end. I will never forget this successful period!

“I would particularly like to thank all the people who welcomed me with an open heart and who trusted me.

“But above all I would like to thank you, dear people of Madrid, for your affection and love from the first to the last day.

“At the same time, this decision means that my active football career will end this summer after the European Championship.”

Kroos concluded: “I am happy and proud that I found the right time for my decision and that I was able to choose it myself.

“My ambition has always been to finish my career at the peak of my performance level. From now on, there is only one guiding thought: a por la 15!!! HALA MADRID AND NADA MAS!

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The midfielder, who joined Madrid from Bayern Munich in 2014, won four La Liga titles during his decade-long stay in the Spanish capital.

A club statement released on Tuesday morning thanked the German for his vital contribution to one of the most successful periods in the club’s 122-year history.

“Real Madrid would like to express its gratitude and affection to Toni Kroos, a player who will go down in the history of Real Madrid as one of the greatest legends of our club and international football.

“Kroos will forever remain in the hearts of all Madridistas thanks to his mastery of the game and the fact that he gave everything for our jersey, a faithful example of the values ​​of Real Madrid.”

Club president Florentino Pérez added: “Toni Kroos is one of the great players in the history of Real Madrid and this club will always be his home.”

Kroos was included in Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann’s provisional squad last week after deciding to return to the national team at the end of February.

The midfielder has 108 appearances for Germany and played a crucial role in Joachim Low’s side that won the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

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The greatest German player of his generation?

Analysis by Sebastian Stafford-Bloor

Is Toni Kroos the greatest German player of the current generation?

He’s definitely in the conversation. He played a fundamental role in winning the World Cup in 2014 and has been an integral part of the fabric of the four Real Madrid teams that have won the Champions League over the past decade.

In a week and a half, he has a good chance of winning his fifth winner’s medal. An extraordinary record for an extraordinary player – perhaps one of the smoothest passers of the modern era, certainly one of the most watchable.

But in a certain sense, Kroos is not typically German. His style of play may not be associated with the national archetype, even if it is based on an outdated cliché.

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Kroos was a crucial member of Germany’s World Cup-winning team in 2014 (Photo by Lars Baron – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

The circumstances in which he left Bayern Munich in 2014 also make him an exception. From a young age, Kroos knew his worth — and in a way that some, especially in more conservative parts of the country, probably considered brash.

There is a famous story that Uli Hoeness was berating Kroos in the tunnel after a match in February. Kroos’ agent, Volker Struth, was renegotiating his contract and Hoeness was – to put it mildly – ​​offended by the salary demands.

“Straighten your agent, you will never get 10 million euros,” Hoeness was quoted as saying. “I don’t need it,” Kroos replied. “We agree on this.”

Some of this acrimony has endured. Hoeness was actually quite critical of the decision to recall Kroos to the national team in December 2023 – “a signal from the Titanic” as he described it – but there is no doubt that Kroos made the Nagelsmann’s Germany best.

Surprisingly, he looks almost unchanged from the player who left Bayern all those years ago. And perhaps that describes Toni Kroos best: a world-class footballer, but also timeless.

(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)


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