It’s been rumored for a while, but now the player himself has made it official — Euro 2020 was Toni Kroos’ last ever tournament in a Germany shirt. The Real Madrid man has retired from international football at the relatively young age of 31, after an illustrious career that includes the triumph at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Here was his message to the fans:
Here’s a quick translation for non-German speakers:
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.
Mainly because I want to focus fully on my goals with Real Madrid for the next few years. In addition, from now on I will deliberately allow myself breaks that have not existed as a national player for eleven years.
And moreover, as a husband and dad, I would also like to be there for my wife and my three children.
It was a great honor for me to be able to wear this jersey for such a long period of time. I did it with pride and passion.
Thanks to all fans and supporters who carried and supported me with their applause and cheers. And thanks to all the critics for their extra motivation.
At the very end I would like to say thank you very much to Jogi Löw. He made me a national player and world champion. He trusted me. We have written a success story for a long time. It was an honor for me, makes it good - good luck and success to Hansi Flick.
With Kroos’ retirement, Germany will have to rely on the next generation of midfielders in Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka to carry them through upcoming tournaments. The Bayern Munich duo are more than up to the task, though Kroos’ departure still removes an extremely gifted and experienced player from the Germany roster.
There’s no word on whether other guys like Thomas Muller or Mats Hummels will join Kroos in retirement after this tournament. Hopefully, Hansi Flick can convince a few of his veterans to stick around for a little longer, to help make a real transition into the next generation of the German national team.