Germany midfielder, Toni Kroos, quits international football

Toni Kroos retires

Real Madrid midfielder, Toni Kroos has announced his retirement from the German national team, on Friday, following their last 16 exit, at Euro 2020.

The 31-year-old Kroos revealed the decision in his Einfach Mal Luppen podcast he runs with his brother Felix.

“The decision is made, it is irrevocable,” he said.

“It’s a decision for the family and for me because it’s also good for me that I’m more with the family. I also want to be there and be needed as a husband and dad.”

Kroos earned 106 caps for Germany, the last of which came in the 2-0 defeat to England at Wembley on Tuesday.

Writing on social media, Kroos said he wished to “and had given everything” so that he would reach 109 caps to end at the Euro 2020 final on July 11.

The midfielder added he had known for some time he would not play the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

He played at three World Cup finals, including the 2014 triumph in Brazil alongside 2010 and 2018.

Kroos was also at European Championships in 2012 and 2016.

Though his international debut came against Argentina in March 2010, it was against another South American team that Kroos struck two of his 17 goals for Germany.

That was a 69-second brace against Brazil in the 7-1 World Cup semi-final four years later.

And four more years after that the precision foot of Kroos kept Germany’s hopes alive of defending the title with a last-gasp winner against Sweden.

That campaign in Russia ended in an early exit, but Kroos, unlike the discarded Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng, and Thomas Mueller, always retained the faith of coach Joachim Loew.

This was even as he (Loew) looked to freshen up other parts of the team.

Kroos thanked Loew for his guidance, saying he “has made me an international player and world champion. He has trusted me. We have long written a success story.

“It was an honour for me, all the best —- and good luck and best wishes to [Loew’s successor] Hansi Flick.”

Loew praised Kroos as “a great leader” in a statement on the website of the domestic federation DFB, saying: “Toni always brought incredible passion, commitment and dedication to the team and was a true role model for the younger players.

“Toni has immense quality and was a real leader both on and off the pitch. His 106 caps, our long journey together, and the triumph in Brazil will always bind us. Thank you, Toni!”

Flick said it was “a real shame” that Kroos was quitting but added he fully understands his motives, and DFB director Oliver Bierhoff named him “a world-class player” and “the epitome of professionalism and loyalty.”

Kroos came through the ranks at Bayern Munich, impressing on loan at Bayer Leverkusen, and moved to Real Madrid in 2014.

Three UEFA Champions League titles in the Spanish capital along with considerable domestic success there and in Germany cemented his status as one of the best midfielders of his generation.

And having said he intends to focus on performing for Real Madrid, where he intends to end his playing career, it is likely his trophy haul is not yet complete.