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Toni Kroos left emotional as Real Madrid fans unveil special tribute to mark his final match at the Bernabeu

Toni Kroos left emotional as Real Madrid fans unveil special tribute to mark his final match at the Bernabeu

Kroos also got a guard of honour from his Real Madrid team-mates as he stepped out for his final match at the Bernabeu.

An emotional Toni Kroos thanked Real Madrid fans after they unveiled a special tribute to him ahead of his final match at the Bernabeu.

Kroos announced his surprise retirement earlier this week, confirming that he would bring down the curtain on an illustrious career after Euro 2024 with Germany.

The 34-year-old has won a staggering 21 trophies during a near 10-year spell at Real Madrid since signing from Bayern Munich in 2014 - and could add a 22nd with this season's Champions League.

His announcement sparked an outpouring of tributes from his team-mates and stars of world football - although defender Lucas Vazquez was beyond devastated at Kroos' decision.

Real Madrid have already won La Liga with several games to spare, having lost only one game all season.

That meant their final game of the season against Real Betis at the Bernabeu on Saturday evening could serve as a celebration to Kroos' career.

And Real fans made sure to make the most of the occasion, unfurling a special banner in tribute to their number eight.

Kroos looked visibly emotional as he saw the banner, and raised both arms in the air in acknowledgement.

That wasn't all, though, with Kroos' team-mates donning Real Madrid shirts with his name and number on the back before kick-off.

They then formed a guard of honour, allowing the Germany international to soak in the rapturous applause from the Bernabeu faithful.

The midfielder's three children - wearing Real shirts with their father's name on the back - were all present at the Bernabeu to witness Kroos' final appearance in front of his home fans.

He will still play one match as a Real Madrid player, with Los Blancos contesting the Champions League final at Wembley on June 1 against Borussia Dortmund.

And Kroos could play up to seven matches for Germany at Euro 2024, depending on their progression through the tournament on home soil.

Taking to Instagram to explain his reasons for retiring, Kroos admitted: "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. Now on, there is only leading thought: a por la 15 [winning Real Madrid's 15th Champions League title]!"

Featured Image Credit: LaLiga TV

Topics: Toni Kroos, Real Madrid, La Liga, Football