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Real Madrid and Germany great Kroos to end career after Euro 2024

Published May 21,2024
Toni Kroos will end his glittering and trophy laden footballing career after the Euro 2024 tournament, the Real Madrid and Germany player announced on Tuesday.

"I've been thinking about it for a very, very long time and in the last few days I've come to the conclusion that this season, this wonderful season, my tenth season with Real, is also my last season with Real," Kroos said in his podcast "Einfach mal Luppen."

"And anyone who can put two and two together now knows that my last season at Real also means that this summer is the end.

"No more Real, no more football," the 2014 World Cup and five-time Chmapions League winner said.

While admitting the decision to retire wasn't easy to speak out he said "it has now been made. And I can now understand the feeling of being very happy on the one hand and very sad on the other."

Kroos came to Real in 2014 from Bayern Munich where he had won three Bundesliga titles, and three German Cups, and the Champions League as part of a 2013 treble.

At Real, he added 22 more titles, including four Champions Leagues, five Club World Cups, four La Ligas and one Coppa del Rey, as an outstanding midfielder under coaches including Zinedine Zidane and Carlo Ancelotti.

"July 17th, 2014 – the day of my presentation at Real Madrid, the day that changed my life. My life as a footballer – but especially as a person," Kroos said on Instagram.

"It was the start of a new chapter at the biggest club in the world. After 10 years, at the end of the season this chapter comes to an end.

Instead of renewing his contract by another year, he will now only have two more official matches with Real, Saturday's La Liga finale against Real Betis, and the June 1 Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley where they seek a record-extending 15th title.

Dortmund's Mats Hummels, who won the World Cup with Kroos and played together with him for Bayern's reserves many years ago, said on Instagram: "What a footballer, it was an honour and a pleasure, Toni.

"Almost 20 years ago together at the Grünwalder [Stadium], now we're seeing each other again at Wembley to round things off in style," Hummels said.

Real said in a statement: "Real Madrid would like to express its gratitude and affection to Toni Kroos, a player who will go down in Real Madrid history as one of our club and international football's greatest legends.

"Toni Kroos will remain forever in the hearts of every madridista thanks to his mastery of the game and the fact he has given his all for our jersey, a steadfast example of the values of Real Madrid."

Kroos has 108 Germany caps with 17 goals and highlighted by the 2014 World Cup title. He originally retired from the team in 2021 but returned this year to help the team at the home Euros June 14-July 14.

He will have at least three matches there, with Scotland, Hungary and Switzerland the group stage opponents.

Exiting after lifting the trophy on July 14 would be the ideal scenario, with his former Germany and Munich team-mate Miroslav Klose hoping that Kroos can bid farewell with two final trophies as he heaped praise on him.

"The way he can read a game is amazing," Klose said. "The most important thing about him is that he has remained normal despite his great successes. That impresses me, that's his great strength. There aren't as many hats as I'd like to tip to him.

"He can now win two more titles with the Champions League and European Championship trophies. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for him. That would be the worthy farewell he deserves."