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Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos announces shock retirement in emotional statement

Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos announces shock retirement in emotional statement

A legend of the game is hanging up his boots.

Real Madrid and Germany midfielder Toni Kroos has announced his decision to retire after this summer's European Championship.

The 34-year-old, who lifted five Champions League titles with Los Blancos during a trophy-laden 10-year spell, took to Instagram on Tuesday to confirm the news.

He wrote: “As I have always said: Real Madrid is and will be my last club.

"July 17th, 2014 - the day of my presentation at Real Madrid, the day that changed my life. My life as a footballer - but especially as a person. It was the start of a new chapter at the biggest club in the world.

"After 10 years, at the end of the season this chapter comes to an end. I will never forget that insolent successful time! I would particularly like to thank everyone that welcomed me with an open heart and trusted me.

"But especially I would like to thank you, dear Madridistas, for your affection and your love from the first day until the last one.

"At the same time this decision means that my career as an active footballer will end this summer after the Euro championship.

"As I have always said: Real Madrid is and will be my last club. I am happy and proud, that in my mind I found the right timing for my decision and that I could choose it by my own. My ambition was always to finish my career at the peak of my performance level."

He added: "From now on there is only one leading thought: a por la 15!!! HALA MADRID Y NADA MAS!”

Real Madrid have since released a statement of their own, thanking Kroos for his contribution to their success over the past decade.

They wrote: "Real Madrid wants to express its gratitude and affection to Toni Kroos, a player who is already part of the history of Real Madrid and who is one of the great legends of our club and world football.

"Toni Kroos arrived at our club in 2014, and has been a fundamental player in one of the most successful periods in the 122-year history of Real Madrid.

"During the ten seasons in which he has defended our shirt and our shield, he has won 22 titles in 463 games to date: 4 European Cups, 5 Club World Cups, 4 European Super Cups, 4 Leagues, 1 Copa del Rey and 4 Super Cups from Spain.

"In addition to his titles with Real Madrid, Toni Kroos became world champion with the German team at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil."

Image credit: Getty
Image credit: Getty

They added: "Toni Kroos will forever remain in the hearts of all Madrid fans for the excellence of his football and for being a player who has given everything for this shirt, always representing the values ​​of Real Madrid."

Los Blancos president Florentino Perez has also paid tribute to the German midfielder.

"Toni Kroos is one of the great players in the history of Real Madrid and that this club is and will always be his home," he said. "Real Madrid wishes him and his entire family the best of luck in this new stage of his life."

Kroos also enjoyed a seven-year spell at Bayern Munich between 2007 and 2014. He lifted three Bundesliga titles with the club, as well as three German Cups and a Champions League.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Images

Topics: Toni Kroos, Real Madrid, La Liga