Kroos hoping for ´cheesy´ career end with Euro win

By AFP
June 12, 2024
Germany's midfielder Toni Kroos attends a press conference at the team's training camp in Herzogenaurach on June 11, 2024, ahead of the UEFA EURO 2024 football competition. — AFP

HERZOGENAURACH: Germany veteran Toni Kroos is hoping to sign off from his club and national career with a dream victory on home soil in Euro 2024 -- and admitted on Tuesday the prospect was almost “a bit too cheesy”.

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Kroos, who won the 2014 World Cup with Germany and most recently lifted the Champions League for a sixth time after Real Madrid´s 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund in June, is set to retire after the European Championship.

Kroos stepped down from international duty after Germany´s last-16 Euros exit to England in 2021 but answered a call from manager Julian Nagelsmann to return in February this year.

Speaking on Tuesday at Germany´s Euros training base in the Bavarian village of Herzogenaurach, a “hungry” Kroos said he would not have come back if he did not believe in a sentimental ending.

“That ending would be a bit too cheesy, with the Champions League and the European Championship, but I´ll take it.

“It went hand in hand with the decision to come back.

“I still want to be successful and I want to win the tournament this summer. That´s quite clear.

“If I didn´t feel this idea -- or this fantasy -- was possible, then I wouldn´t have come back, because it´s always about winning any competition I play in.”

Kroos made his Germany debut in 2010 and so was too young to play at the 2006 World Cup -- the last time Germany hosted a major tournament.

He said the German team had “a big responsibility” to succeed on home soil.

“Every big tournament is special but a home one is a bit more special. You get plenty of feedback from people across the backyard fence.”

Kroos started his career at Bayern Munich before moving to Real Madrid and has won almost every trophy on offer at national and international level, other than the Euros.

While saying he did not get nervous before games, Kroos said he was under particular pressure to deliver from his three kids.

“Of course they´re expecting victory. They´re a bit spoiled by success.

“They haven´t seen much of that (with Germany) in the past few years, but they´re assuming we´ll win the title here, otherwise it´ll be hard for them to accept.”

Germany face Scotland in Munich on Friday in the tournament´s curtainraiser.

“With Scotland, we know what kind of opponent waits for us. They´re tough to play against, physically strong and compact in defence and are quick on the counter. “They´re the type of opponent we´ve had problems with recently.”

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