Former Bayern Munich midfielder and current Real Madrid star Toni Kroos saw the reports and thought he needed to address the elephant in the room. The 32-year-old will not be returning to the German national team as was recently speculated.
“I won’t be at the World Cup, but I’m sure that when I watch the matches, I’ll want to play. But I’ve already decided to leave the national team after the European Championship,” Kroos told Vamos por Movistar Plus (as captured by @iMiaSanMia). “The reasons for my retirement were to spend more time with my family, secondly because now there are players who deserve to play more and I didn’t want to reach the time when they would come and tell me it was better for me to retire. So I wanted to decide.”
The rumors did make a bit of sense. The German national team figures to lean heavily on Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka, but having veterans like Kroos and İlkay Gündoğan around to provide leadership, a steady presence, and quality on the pitch if needed might have been appealing to manager Hansi Flick.
Now, however, that option is not on the table and Flick will have to sort out what other midfielders will join Kimmich, Goretzka, and Gündoğan in Qatar.