Retiring Kroos pens emotional post after Euro exit

Germany great Toni Kroos officially bid farewell to football on Sunday, two days after his team’s dramatic loss to Spain in the quarterfinals of the European Championship.

Mikel Merino’s game-winning goal in the last minute of extra time handed Spain a 2-1 victory that knocked out the host nation and ended Kroos’ playing career.

“So that’s it,” Kroos wrote in a post on Instagram on Sunday. “But before I take a break and at least try to realise what happened over the last 17 years I don’t want to miss the opportunity to say thank you to everyone accepting me how and who I am.”

The 2014 World Cup winner went on to thank his fans, clubs, coaches and teammates, as well as his friends and family, adding that there is “nothing better [than] to see your kids being proud of daddy.”

Kroos won a host of titles, mostly with Real Madrid, but also with Bayern Munich — six Champions Leagues, four Spanish leagues, three Bundesligas, three German Cups and one Copa del Rey.

The 34-year-old announced in May that he would retire at the end of Euro 2024.

That meant that his 114th match for Germany turned out to be his last.

Kroos ended his post with the words: “Last but not least: Thank you Football! You beautiful game. And… you’re welcome! Over and out.”

Meanwhile, Spain midfielder Pedri has forgiven Toni Kroos for ending his European Championship.

Pedri was ruled out of the rest of Euro 2024 on Saturday with a left knee injury that he sustained in a hefty challenge from Kroos in the opening stages of Spain’s quarterfinal victory over Germany the previous day.

Kroos publicly apologised to the youngster at the end of an Instagram post and Pedri thanked the 34-year-old.

“Thank you Toni Kroos for your message,” the 21-year-old Pedri wrote in a post on social media.

“This is football and these things happen. Your career and your record remain forever.”

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