Sports

Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos announces shock retirement in emotional statement

"I am happy and proud that, in my mind, I found the right timing for my decision and that I could choose it on my own"

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Real Madrid and Germany midfielder Toni Kroos will retire from professional football after Euro 2024.

The 34-year-old has enjoyed a trophy-laden career with Real since he joined them from Bayern Munich in July 2014, winning both La Liga and the Champions League on four occasions.

Kroos was also part of the Germany team that won the World Cup in 2014.

He quit international football in July 2021 but came out of retirement in February after talks with Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann.

“My ambition was always to finish my career at the peak of my performance level,” Kroos said in a post on his Instagram account.

“I am happy and proud that, in my mind, I found the right timing for my decision and that I could choose it on my own.”

Kroos made his debut for Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga aged 17 in September 2007 and went on to win the first of three German league titles that season.

He was also part of the Bayern squad that won the Champions League in 2013, though he did not play in the final.

Kroos said that the day he signed for Real “changed his life as a footballer but especially as a person,” and his “only thought” now is to help Los Blancos to a 15th European Cup.

Real face Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final at Wembley on June 1.

“I have always said Real Madrid is and will be my last club,” he said.

“After 10 years, at the end of season this chapter comes to an end. I will never forget this successful time.”

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

Kroos will be part of the Real Madrid squad, which seeks to win the club’s 15th European Cup/Champions League crown in the final against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley on June 1.

He will then be part of Julian Nagelsmann’s Germany squad for their hosting of the Euros in the summer, when he will bid to add that trophy to his remarkable collection.

Germany play Scotland in the opening game of Euro 2024 on June 14 at Munich’s Allianz Arena.

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