EURO 2024: Retiring Toni Kroos Hopeful Despite Germany’s ‘Bitter’ Quater-final Exit – News18

EURO 2024: Retiring Toni Kroos Hopeful Despite Germany’s ‘Bitter’ Quater-final Exit – News18


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EURO 2024: Germany’s Toni Kroos (AP)

Germany icon Toni Kroos saw his glittering football career come to an end in dramatic fashion as Spain scored late in extra time to seal a 2-1 win in the Euro 2024 quarter-finals.

Retiring Germany midfielder Toni Kroos said he was optimistic for the team’s future despite their “bitter” Euro 2024 exit after a 2-1 quarter-final loss to Spain in extra time on Friday.

Kroos came out of international retirement for one last dance with Germany at the Euros, playing a crucial role as the home side impressed after almost a decade of poor performances at major tournaments.

He had previously announced he would retire from all football after the tournament.

After a goalless first half, Spain took the lead when Dani Olmo swept in a pass from 16-year-old winger Lamine Yamal.

Germany hit back in the 89th minute when Florian Wirtz equalised, sending the game to extra time.

Germany had a penalty appeal for handball turned down before Spain’s Mikel Merino headed in the winner in the 119th minute.

“We threw everything in, to lose when we were so close, is bitter,” Kroos told ARD.

“The elimination is the main focus right now (rather than his retirement), because the goal that we had we were unable to achieve and the dream we had is over.

“We played a good tournament but when you’re so close, to be eliminated like that, it’s bitter.”

The 34-year-old insisted the future was bright for German football and said the side had brought optimism back to the fans and supporters.

“We can all be proud because of what we did. I was happy to help out, I think we gave German football hope again and we got better as we went along.

“I think the team will do it in future, but today we’re extremely sad because we would have liked to stay a little longer.”

Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann, who was instrumental in convincing Kroos to come out of international retirement in time for the Euros, praised the departing veteran.

“It’s impossible to over-appreciate Toni’s career. He’s been a unique player for Germany. He’s one of Germany’s biggest players,” said the 36-year-old.

Nagelsmann said Kroos spoke to the players in the dressing room after the loss, saying “he will always see himself as part of this group”.

“Everyone knows about his successes but not everyone knows his character. He spoke to the team in what was a very difficult moment for him personally.”

Stay updated with the latest from Euro 2024. Explore Euro 2024 Match Today. Check Updated list of Highest Goal-Scorer in Euro 2024. CheckEuro 2024 Points Table and Euro 2024 Match Results and Euro 2024 Match Schedule .

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – AFP)



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