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Spanish fans honor Toni Kroos after Euro 2024 exit



Spanish fans honor Toni Kroos after Euro 2024 exit

The Euro 2024 quarter final games on Friday were emotional moments for its losers as Germany and Portugal both exited the thrilling tournament, but one moment with Germany’s Toni Kroos showed the beauty that is the game of football.

In a poignant and respectful farewell, Spanish fans paid tribute to Toni Kroos following his final professional football match, after a remarkable 17-year career came to its end with Germany’s exit from the Euros. The emotional evening unfolded on Friday as hosts Germany were eliminated from the 2024 European Championships by Spain in a dramatic encounter.

Germany’s valiant effort to equalize in the last second of normal time was undone by Spain’s decisive 119th-minute winner, sealing a heartbreaking exit for the host nation.

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This match, held in Kroos’ home country, also marked the final chapter of his illustrious football journey, just a month after concluding his club career with a Champions League victory for Real Madrid.

Despite being on the opposing side, Spanish fans displayed an extraordinary gesture of respect towards the German midfielder.

A video shared by Sky Sports journalist Florian Plettenburg captured the moment when, instead of reveling in their team’s triumph, the Spanish supporters stood and applauded Kroos, serenading him as he approached to show his gratitude.

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Kroos, a revered figure at Real Madrid, spent a decade with the La Liga giants, where he became a beloved icon.

The familiarity and affection of the Spanish fans for Kroos, who has delivered countless memorable performances at the Bernabeu, were palpable. His impressive tally includes 23 major trophies with Madrid, highlighted by six Champions League titles and four La Liga championships.

In May, Kroos took to Instagram to announce his impending retirement following the Euros. Reflecting on his decision, he shared:

“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.”

Kroos, who initially retired from international football in July 2022, made a surprise return for the 2024 Euros after discussions with Germany’s manager, Julian Nagelsmann.

“I’ll be playing for Germany again from March. Why? Because I was asked by the coach and I’m up for it,” Kroos revealed in an Instagram post.

“I’m sure that much more is possible with the team at the European Championship than most people think right now.”

Capping his international career with 114 caps and a 2014 World Cup victory, Kroos leaves an indelible mark on the sport. His contribution to Germany’s triumph over Argentina in the World Cup final, thanks to a late goal in the 113th minute, remains a highlight of his storied career.