Germany and Real Madrid great Toni Kroos will retire after Euro 2024

Toni Kroos will retire from football after trying to give Real Madrid another Champions League trophy and lead Germany to the Euro title at home.

The 34-year-old German midfielder said Tuesday that it was a difficult decision but that the timing was “somehow perfect.”

“I always wanted to leave at the peak of my abilities and I know, and from many examples you can see, that it is not easy, that you can lose that moment very quickly,” Kroos said in a podcast. hosts with his brother.

“I never wanted to have the feeling at the end that the club, the fans, the people around me would have to tell me: ‘Enough is enough’, or that I would spend another two or three years sitting on the bench.”

Madrid thanked Kroos and praised his achievements with the team.

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

Kroos was a world champion with Germany in 2014 in Brazil and also had a successful career with Bayern Munich, helping them win one Champions League and three German league titles.

Madrid will face Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final on June 1 in London. His European trophies with Madrid came in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2022. He won the Champions League with Bayern in 2013.

Kroos has been with Madrid since 2014, helping them win 22 titles, including four European Cups and four Spanish leagues. He played 463 games for the club, who called the midfielder “a key player in one of the most successful periods in Real Madrid’s 122-year history.”

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

Madrid said Kroos will forever remain in the hearts of all fans “thanks to his mastery of the game and the fact that he has given everything for our shirt, a faithful example of Real Madrid’s values.”

Kroos’ contract with Madrid was due to expire at the end of this season and the club and the player have reportedly been negotiating an extension.

Kroos said in February that he agreed to play for Germany at Euro 2024 after a request from coach Julian Nagelsmann. He has not played with the national team for almost three years, since Germany’s defeat against England in the second round of the last Euro Cup.

Kroos was named last week in Germany’s preliminary squad for the tournament.

He had said a few months ago that he didn’t know what would happen next season.

“I thought about it for a long time and in recent days I have come to the conclusion that this season, this wonderful season, the tenth season with Real, is also my last season with Real,” Kroos said on Tuesday.

“And anyone who has paid attention to me over the last few months or years will have heard at some point the phrase that the only option for me was to finish my career at Real Madrid. And if you can put one and one together, you’ll know that my last season with Real means it will end this summer. “No more Real, no more football.”