Toni Kroos, the German midfielder who is not known to sprint but who is everywhere, who does not miss a pass whether it is one meter or fifty and who always sees the best option to get the ball out, will hang the boots at the end of the season after a promising start to his career at Bayern Munich and, above all, ten stellar seasons at Real Madrid.

The 34-year-old German has been the absolute protagonist in a prodigious decade for the whites. A football love story with the Croatian Luka Modric as his inseparable and already historic partner in the center of the field. Kroos, still a starter in Ancelotti’s team, leaves without golden retirements in exotic paradises and with the option still to round out his spectacular record with the conquest of his sixth Champions League at Wembley, with which he would equal Paco Gento, and the European Championship with Germany, the only title he does not have to his name. The midfielder left the squad in 2021, but last February he announced his return at the express request of coach Julian Nagelsmann.

In the absence of seeing the resolution of the two continental tournaments, the club and the national team, Kroos has accumulated a whopping 33 titles, including the World Cup won with Germany in 2014, five Champions Leagues, four with Madrid and one with Bayern, and seven Leagues, three with the Bavarians and four in white. He has also won six Club World Cups, five European Super Cups, four Spanish Super Cups, one Copa del Rey, three German Cups and one German Super Cup. At the Bernabéu he has won 22 titles, only three behind the most successful in the club’s history, which are Benzema, Marcelo, Nacho and Modric.

The German will close his career as a Madrid legend. A myth that began to be forged in the summer of 2014, when the club chaired by Florentino Pérez signed Kroos from Bayern for 25 million, a ridiculous amount judging by the performance of the Greifswald-born player in the merengue entity. Without a doubt, one of the most profitable operations in Madrid history that was possible thanks to the low vision of the Munich leaders.

Kroos debuted in Bayern’s first team in 2007 and in the following years, with a loan including to Bayer Leverkusen, he ended up establishing himself as a fundamental piece in the Bavarian team. After winning the treble in the 2012-13 season, although he did not play the final stretch due to a muscle injury, it seemed that the German’s future at the Munich club was assured with the arrival of Pep Guardiola to the bench, a coach who especially appreciates his playing style.

The one from Santpedor gave more importance if possible to Kroos in the team, with a total of 51 games played in the 2013-14 season, but by then the continuity of the midfielder, with a possible extension of his contract, was already being settled in the offices.

“In September 2013, Bayern wanted to extend his contract, but Toni did not. They offered six million per season. Did they forget that I knew they were paying Götze 10 million a year? So we asked for 10 million. Guardiola wanted to keep him. ‘I need you here,’ he told him,” the player’s agent, Volker Struth, explained to Bild years later about the ins and outs of a negotiation that soon broke down.

“After that, Uli Hoeness came into the picture. On February 2, 2014, after beating Eintracht 5-0, Hoeness entered the locker room and shouted at Toni: ‘Call your agent! You’ll never make 10 million here.’ To which Toni responded: ‘I don’t need to call him, we have the same opinion,’” added the representative of those days. Kroos had an agreement to sign with Manchester United, but the dismissal of coach David Moyes brought Real Madrid into the picture, which did not take long to reach an agreement with Bayern. The rest is history.

While waiting for the last league game and the Champions League final, Kroos has played 463 games for the whites, and a total of 36,423 minutes, in which he has scored 28 goals and provided 98 assists. In his first season as a Real Madrid player he lived under the yoke of Luis Enrique’s Barça, winner of the treble, but later a golden era began that still continues. Only in the 2020-21 season did he fail to add titles to his record. He was the protagonist of the three Champions Leagues in a row with Zidane, between 2016 and 2018, and in Ancelotti’s second stage on the bench he began dosing minutes but being important in the decisive matches.

Now, still ready to play in the elite, probably a starter in any major European club, he prefers to take a step aside rather than be dragged down by the passage of time and fill his pockets with petrodollars, a common trend among prestigious veteran players. which he has criticized on more than one occasion. He retires an exemplary legend both on and off the field.