Madrid star Toni Kroos not thinking beyond Euro 2024 with Germany

AP , Tuesday 19 Mar 2024

Toni Kroos isn’t thinking beyond this summer’s European Championship.

Toni Kroos
Real Madrid and Germany player Toni Kroos attends a team training session at DFB Campus in Frankfurt, Germany, on Tuesday, March 19, 2024. Germany plays France in Lyon on Saturday in a friendly match. Photo: AP


The 34-year-old Real Madrid star was coaxed out of international retirement to help Germany in its home tournament, but he still doesn’t know what will happen next season.

Kroos is yet to extend his contract with the Spanish league leader, and the prospect of ending his career on a high at Euro 2024 is one which has its appeal for a player who has already won the World Cup with Germany in 2014 and every possible domestic title with Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

“Many things are uncertain after the European Championship,” Kroos said on Tuesday when asked about playing for Germany after the tournament.

“I don’t even have a contract for next season. So, it’s difficult. I need to clear that up before … I think it would be difficult to get me back from full retirement."

Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann said last week he had many conversations with Kroos to convince the midfielder to return. Kroos hadn’t played for the national team since Germany’s loss to England in the second round of the last European Championship.

Kroos joked he needed to clear the decision to return with his grandfather.

“I had to convince him because without his OK nothing would have happened,” Kroos said. “No, he knew how I was thinking, and he said if it was up to him, then preferably another year with Real, and then holiday. But I told him in the meantime I’d decided play the Euro in any case and he’s fine, he’s ordered his Germany jersey.”

Kroos’ return should benefit the players around him with his oversight and cool-headed play.

Germany’s recent form points to a team in disarray. It lost its last games against Austria and Turkey and has only two victories against the United States and France from its last 10 matches. Six of those ended in defeat.

Nagelsmann was appointed successor to the fired Hansi Flick to instigate a revival before hosting Euro 2024 but, as yet, he has been unable to restore confidence.

Germany next plays France in Lyon on Saturday, then the Netherlands in Frankfurt on Tuesday. It will play Ukraine and Greece in its final warmup games.

Kroos acknowledged Germany’s poor results but appeared confident he can help the team recover in time for the tournament by adding to his 106 international appearances so far.

“It’s a bit presumptuous now to say it will only be a success if we win the title,” Kroos said. “We’re coming from a time where that’s difficult to formulate, but still, and you can’t get that out of me. You basically buy into that, this understanding of being able to be successful like that.”

Getting out of the group stage is a start.

“For sure, I’d like to be participating in one or two rounds in the knockout stage of the tournament,” Kroos said.

Germany opens Euro 2024 against Scotland in Munich on June 14, followed by Hungary in Stuttgart on June 19 and Switzerland in Frankfurt on June 23.

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