According to a report by Bild (via Marca), Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos is set to retire from the German national team after this year’s Euros. Having already won the World Cup in 2014 during his time as a Bayern Munich player, it seems that Kroos has no interest in playing another one at this stage of his career. He will apparently shift his focus to club football permanently.
Kroos isn’t getting any younger, so it’s easy to see why he might consider this step. With the emergence of Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich as stalwarts of the German NT setup, Kroos’ niche from prior years simply does not exist anymore. Die Mannschaft no longer needs someone to control the tempo and dictate possession, since Kimmich already offers all that and more. Since a pure gegenpressing style of play is wasted on a player like Kroos, the writing’s already on the wall for the Real Madrid man. Germany’s new generation of talent has caught up to him.
Given that he recently sighed a contract extension which will keep him at the Bernabeu until 2023, it’s perfectly plausible that Kroos will continue to have a key role at Real Madrid for the foreseeable future. Perhaps, retiring from international football early, like Philipp Lahm did, might be the little extra push he needs to keep his body performing at a higher level for a couple extra years.
Whatever the reason, the decision seems like a sensible one, as the Euros would be a great time for him to pass the torch.