Sports

Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos will retire from football after playing for Germany at this summer’s European Championship, the player announced on Tuesday.

Kroos, 34, has won 22 trophies with Madrid since joining in 2014, including four Champions Leagues — plus another with Bayern Munich — and four LaLiga titles.

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The midfielder first raised the prospect of retiring in 2022 before deciding to play on for another season, but has now chosen to end his career this summer.

“After 10 years, at the end of the season this chapter comes to an end,” Kroos posted on Instagram.

“I would particularly like to thank everyone that welcomed me with an open heart and trusted me. But especially I would like to thank you, dear Madridistas, for your affection and your love from the first day until the last one.

“At the same time this decision means that my career as an active footballer will end this summer after the European Championship. As I have always said: Real Madrid is and will be my last club. I am happy and proud, that in my mind I found the right timing for my decision and that I could choose it by my own. My ambition was always to finish my career at the peak of my performance level.”

Kroos announced his return to international football with Germany in February ahead of the Euros, having previously retired from international duty in 2021.

Real Madrid won LaLiga this season and will face Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final at Wembley on June 1.

“I’m convinced this is the right decision,” Kroos said in a special episode of his podcast, “Einfach mal Luppen,” released on Tuesday.

“I’ve been thinking about it for months, and with its pros and cons, it’s what I want… I want you to remember that I went out at my best. I promised that when I left Madrid, I’d leave football.”

“Toni Kroos has decided to end his career as a professional footballer after the 2024 European Championships,” Madrid said in statement on Tuesday.

“Real Madrid wants to express its gratitude and affection to Toni Kroos, a player who is already part of Real Madrid’s history and who is one of the great legends of our club and world football.

“Toni Kroos arrived at our club in 2014, and has been a fundamental player in one of the most successful periods in Real Madrid’s 122-year history. During the ten seasons in which he has defended our shirt and our shield, he has won 22 titles in 463 games to date: four European Cups, five Club World Cups, four European Super Cups, four Leagues, one Copa del Rey and four Spanish Supercopas.

“Toni Kroos will forever remain in the hearts of all Real Madrid fans for his footballing excellence, and for being a player who has given everything for this shirt.”

Kroos played for Bayern Munich at youth level and made his first-team debut in September 2007. He was a part of the Bayern squad that won the Champions League in 2013, before joining Madrid the next summer.

Since that time, he has been a key figure in Madrid’s midfield, forming an iconic trio alongside Luka Modric and Casemiro.

“I’ve always said that I won’t go anywhere else,” he said in November 2022. “I won’t change clubs. I’ll retire here. The only thing I don’t know is when.”

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