Kroos, the German technology at the service of Real Madrid who retires with honours

The German will end his career in Los Blancos after the Champions League final at Wembley 
Toni Kroos del Real Madrid controla el balón durante el partido de La Liga 2023/24 entre el Real Madrid y el Atlético de Madrid en el Estadio Santiago Bernabéu en Madrid, España, el 4 de febrero – PHOTO/Guillermo Martínez/NurPhoto/NurPhoto vía AFP
Real Madrid's Toni Kroos controls the ball during the La Liga 2023/24 match between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid, Spain, on February 4 - PHOTO/Guillermo Martinez/NurPhoto/NurPhoto via AFP

The son of Roland Kroos and Birgit Kämmer. The brother of Felix Kroos. The husband of Jessica Kroos and the father of three children who play with him on the Bernabéu pitch whenever the occasion arises. That is the Toni Kroos (Greifswald, Germany, 5 January 1990) who will play his last game for Real Madrid on 1 June at Wembley Stadium. A Champions League final to bid farewell to the team with which he has played for glory for the last 10 years and a European Championship to bid farewell to the German national team with which he was World Cup winner in 2014.   

Saying goodbye in style and in the best moment of your career is not easy. Kroos has only spent 17 seasons as a professional footballer, so a new professional stage is opening up for him as he is "only" 34 years old and has a whole life ahead of him after playing football. A profession that he could have stretched six or seven more years in leagues such as the United States or some exotic country, not counting Saudi Arabia, where he warned that he would never play for ideological reasons. He showed this with Qatar when he decided not to go to the World Cup with Germany.   

Kroos did not see himself playing at the age of 40. Something that, for example, Andrés Iniesta, another legend of world football, still does. The German has a different outlook on life and understands that he doesn't need to be involved in top-level football any more, nor does he need to earn more money. The day after leaving football, according to the old-timers, you see the abyss and the bank account never fills up again at the same speed. Kroos is not expected to coach, at most he is expected to continue to run his academy for young talents in Germany and Spain. His love for children means that he spends a lot of time with his own children and encourages others to take part in his social media giveaways.   

Luka Modric y Toni Kroos del Real Madrid celebran la victoria por 2-1 durante la UEFA Champions League, semifinales, partido de fútbol de vuelta entre el Real Madrid y el Bayern Múnich el 8 de mayo de 2024 en el estadio Santiago Bernabéu en Madrid, España  - PHOTO/Laurent Lairys/Laurent Lairys/DPPI vía AFP
Real Madrid's Luka Modric and Toni Kroos celebrate the 2-1 victory during the UEFA Champions League, semifinals, second leg soccer match between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich on May 8, 2024 at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain - PHOTO/Laurent Lairys/Laurent Lairys/DPPI via AFP

Adidas has already prepared the boots for the Wembley final. That magical stadium that will feel the last dance of the German in white and, in this case, golden boots on its turf. His whim has led him to wear the same model (Adidas Adipure11 Pro 2) for years because he has never been a friend of more advanced models and flashy colours.   

What happens in his life after the European Championship only he knows and he will tell his brother Felix about it in a podcast where he has always been honest about everything that happens on a football pitch. Without stepping in puddles that affect him or Real Madrid and with the same naturalness that he has said goodbye to the madridistas on his social networks. Kroos was not there to pull a Navas and play hide-and-seek with his retirement. He always said there would be nothing more after Real Madrid and he has kept his word.   

The German tech leaves Real Madrid because Bellingham can do his job in a similar way. Not the same. Neither Tchouaméni nor Camavinga will be able to replace that pace and class. Modric is left without a dance partner. But the job is done, four Champions League titles to show the way to those who come after him. Kroos plays until he wants to. Not a minute more. Not a minute less.