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regular-article-logo Sunday, 23 June 2024

German midfielder Toni Kroos says goodbye to Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu stadium

A goalless draw with Real Betis was largely irrelevant with Real confirmed as La Liga champions and all the European qualification and relegation spots decided, so the evening was about celebrating the 34-year-old Kroos

Reuters Madrid Published 27.05.24, 10:44 AM
Toni Kroos waves to the fans after being substituted during his last game as a Real Madrid player on Saturday

Toni Kroos waves to the fans after being substituted during his last game as a Real Madrid player on Saturday reuters

Toni Kroos bade an emotional farewell to Real Madrid fans at a sold-out Santiago Bernabeu stadium on Saturday as the German midfielder played his final home game after a remarkable decade with the Spanish giants.

A goalless draw with Real Betis was largely irrelevant with Real confirmed as La Liga champions and all the European qualification and relegation spots decided, so the evening was about celebrating the 34-year-old Kroos.

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One of Real’s most successful ever players after making 464 appearances and helping them win more than 20 major trophies including four European Cups, Kroos announced that he will retire after this year’s European Championship on home soil.

He fought back tears as walked on to the pitch through a corridor formed by teammates, who were wearing his number eight jersey as the fans held up a giant flag with his face and the words “Thank you, legend” which covered the south stand.

In the 85th minute, Kroos broke down in tears when, after receiving another standing ovation as he was substituted, he embraced his three children who were crying on the sidelines.

The game was stopped for several minutes as Kroos hugged each of his teammates and his coach. After the referee blew the final whistle, Kroos, his family and teammates did a lap of honour as the fans serenaded him for almost 30 minutes.

“I can only say thank you to all the Madridismo, to the club, to my teammates, to the stadium,” Kroos said.

“I’ve always felt at home during these 10 years. I couldn’t ask for more. They have been 10 unforgettable years.

"I was pretty strong until I saw my children, that moment killed me," Kroos added.

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