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Carlo Ancelotti reveals how Toni Kroos showed ‘courage’ to announce retirement

Real Madrid manager, Carlo Ancelotti, has admitted that he tried to convince Toni Kroos not to retire at the end of the season.

The legendary German midfielder will hang up his boots after Euro 2024 in his homeland, bringing to an end a glittering career at the highest level of European football.

Kroos remains a key player for Ancelotti at the Bernabeu in 2023/24 as Los Blancos reclaimed the La Liga title and reached the Champions League final, where they face Borussia Dortmund next week.

First, however, the former Bayern Munich star will play his final game at the club’s stadium on Saturday night against Real Betis and Ancelotti revealed in his pre-match press conference that he had tried to talk him out of retirement.

He said: “We’ve worked well this week and we want to finish well. It’s been a great campaign, we’ve done really well from the start. Tomorrow. [Saturday] We say goodbye to the legend of our club and we want to enjoy it. It’s an important day. We are very happy with the way we managed this league which we deserved and with many points. For me it was an easy thing to handle as a place and a group. The players did very well.

“As we have said many times that veterans must choose their own future. We must respect Toni’s decision and we must say goodbye to him as best we can. I respect his decision a lot because he is a man with balls. His successor. it is very complicated but it is impossible but this group has the resources as it has shown in the last ten years, it wins many every year it loses pieces but it does not have to lose that attitude and dedication of those who have gone and created a clean place all this time.

“We have discussed this matter before [Kroos] he was convinced, he wanted to say goodbye on the highest level. Saying goodbye like this would be nice, everyone wants to say goodbye on a high level but you have to have the courage to do it.

Lucas Vazquez, Toni Kroos

Kroos will leave Madrid at the top of his game / Alex Livesey – Danehouse/GettyImages

“Technically, it’s very difficult to find him, but that’s not what we’re thinking about. He’s the same, he’s calm and focused on what he has to do. He’s German and it’s very difficult to change. There were no tears in his mind, he’s very confident.”

While Kroos’ departure will be heartbreaking for Madrid, the Spanish champions have a special set of midfielders on the books to cushion his exit.

Jude Bellingham and Federico Valverde are two of the best in the world at the age of 20 and 25 respectively, while big things are expected of Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga. The club’s star Luka Modric is also likely to stay for another season.


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