Soccer-Real Madrid and Germany midfielder Kroos to retire after Euro 2024


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - LaLiga - Real Madrid v Deportivo Alaves - Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain - May 14, 2024 Real Madrid's Toni Kroos applauds fans after the match REUTERS/Susana Vera

MADRID (Reuters) -Germany's Toni Kroos, 34, will retire after this year's European Championship, the Real Madrid midfielder announced on Tuesday, adding that next month's Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund will be his last game for the Spanish club.

"My career as an active footballer will end this summer after the Euro championship. As I have always said: Real Madrid is and will be my last club," Kroos said in a statement on Instagram.

"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.

"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. I will never forget this exciting and successful decade!"

Kroos has made 463 appearances for the club since joining in 2014 and will leave as one of the most decorated players in Real's 120-year history, winning more than 20 trophies, including four European Cups.

In addition to his titles with Real, the midfielder won the 2014 World Cup with Germany and another Champions League title with Bayern Munich in 2013.

Kroos is in the final year of his contract with Real and in February announced his return to the Germany side after three years of international retirement and ahead of the June-July European Championship on home soil.

"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," Kroos said.

Real also issued a lengthy statement praising Kroos and his legacy with the club.

His departure comes after winning LaLiga and ahead of a potential sixth Champions League title at Wembley.

"Real Madrid would like to express their 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 of world football," the club said.

"Toni Kroos will forever remain in the hearts of all madridistas for the excellence of his football and for being a player who has given everything for this shirt, always representing the values of Real Madrid."

(Reporting by Fernando Kallas. Additional reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru.Editing by David Goodman and Christian Radnedge)

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