Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos has announced that he will be retiring from international football with Germany. The 2014 World Cup winner earned 106 caps for his country. He scored 17 goals and recorded 19 assists for Die Mannschaft. The former Bayern Munich midfielder had stated that he would retire from football early but Kroos had become synonymous with the German team.
“I’ve played for Germany 106 times. There won’t be another time. I would have dearly wished, and I gave everything again, that there would have been 109 internationals in the end and that this one big title, the European Championship, would have been added at the end. I had made the decision to quit after this tournament for a long time. It had been clear to me for a long time that I would not be available for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar,” The 31-year-old wrote in a Twitter post.
“I have known for a while that I won’t be putting myself forward for Qatar 2022, mostly because I want to be fully focused on my goals with Real Madrid in the coming years. I also want to be able to afford myself some downtime that I haven’t been able to have in 11 years as a Germany international. On top of that, I want to be around more for my wife and three children as a husband and as a father. It has been a huge honor to have been able to wear this shirt for such a long time. I always did it with pride and passion. Thank you to all the fans and supporters that helped carry me with their applause and cheering, but also to those critics who gave me extra motivation.
Finally, I want to sincerely thank Jogi [Joachim] Low. He made me a Germany international and a World Cup winner. He put his faith in me, and we have written a long success story together.”
Toni Kroos played in five international tournaments for Germany since he made his debut in 2010. The zenith of his international career is the 2014 World Cup which he won with Germany under the also now departed Joachim Low. This announcement comes after Germany was eliminated from Euro 2020 by England in the round-of-16. Hansi Flick will be the new manager and while they do have a depth of talent to successfully move on after Kroos, he will be missed. There are not many who can dictate and set the tempo for a game the way Kroos can. His passing range and speed shaped Germany for years and he will go down as an all-time great. Happy retirement Toni!!