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Toni Kroos’ international retirement: A look at the midfield maestro’s national team legacy

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Days after Germany were knocked out of UEFA Euro 2020, midfielder Toni Kroos announced his retirement from international football, saying that he wants to focus more on his club career with Real Madrid.

"I have played 106 times for Germany. There will not be another time," the Real Madrid midfielder wrote on Twitter.

"I had already made the decision to retire after this tournament for some time. It had been clear to me for a while that I will not be available for the World Cup 2022 in Qatar. 

"Mainly because I want to focus fully on my goals with Real Madrid for the next few years. In addition, from now on I will deliberately allow myself breaks that have not existed as a national player for eleven years.

"It was a great honour for me to be able to wear this jersey for such a long time. I did it with pride and passion," he added.

A 2014 World Cup winner with Die Mannschaft, Kroos earned a whopping 106 international caps for his national team, making him one of 13 players to have played more than 100 games for Germany.

Most international caps for German football team

Player Caps for Germany
Lothar Matthaus 150
Miroslav Klose 137
Lukas Podolski 130
Bastian Schweinsteiger 121
Philipp Lahm 113
Jürgen Klinsmann 108
Toni Kroos 106
Thomas Muller 106
Jurgen Kohler 105
Manuel Neuer 104
Per Mertesacker 104
Franz Beckenbauer 103
Thomas Hassler 101

Toni Kroos stats for German football team

During his time with the national team, Kross scored 17 goals and assisted 19 more. He played a total of 14 matches for Germany in the FIFA World Cup from 2010 to 2018, scoring three goals and assisting four times. Interestingly, all his four assists came in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Kroos’ form in 2014 coincided with Germany’s ruthlessness at the FIFA World Cup. During the tournament, the Germans scored 18 goals in just seven matches. Seven of those 18 goals came in the demolition job of hosts Brazil in the semi-final where Kroos scored a brace and got an assist for the opening goal. He ended the game with a passing accuracy of 93 per cent and was adjudged Player of the Match.

Toni Kroos’ honours with Germany

Apart from being a World Cup winner with Die Mannschaft, Toni Kroos has won a few individual honours too. This includes being a part of the FIFA World Cup All-Star Team and FIFA World Cup Dream Team in 2014. In the same year, he was named the German Player of the Year. 

Two years later, he was named as one of the players in the UEFA European Championship Team of the Tournament. In 2018, he was adjudged the German Footballer of the Year.

Kroos’ international career spanned over a decade, having earned his maiden national call-up in a friendly match against Argentina in 2010. He went on to play his part in Germany’s 2010 FIFA World Cup campaign where they finished third.

Four years later, he played every minute of the 2014 FIFA World Cup as Die Mannschaft were crowned champions.

Featured photo: AFP / Frank Augstein

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