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Euro 2024: England star Bellingham can handle expectation – Kroos

Toni Kross is confident Jude Bellingham will handle the pressure of carrying England's hopes at Euro 2024.

Euro 2024

Toni Kroos says Real Madrid team-mate Jude Bellingham is the “complete package” and backed the England star to handle the weight of expectation at Euro 2024.

Germany midfielder Kroos played alongside Bellingham as Real won their 15th Champions League title in 2023-24 during the 20-year-old’s first extraordinary season with the Spanish giants.

As a result, the talented former Birmingham youngster has been identified as key to the Three Lions’ hopes of success in Germany this summer.

But Kroos, 34 and playing in his final tournament before retiring, is confident his club team-mate can handle the pressure despite his youth.

He said: “I’ve had a year with Jude and had to ask how old he really is. He’s 20 but – and particularly off the field – he feels to be a fair bit more mature than that.

“It speaks for him that there is so much hope resting on him in England.

“At Real, in the first few weeks, he was directly decisive for us. I didn’t feel he had any problems as his importance to the team grew.

“He’s a guy who can handle this pressure. This personality at just 20 years of age – it’s no problem for him to withstand the pressure.”

Fairytale ending

While wishing well for his now former clubmate, Kroos is firmly focused on matters for Germany after coming out of retirement to make himself available for the tournament on home soil.

After finishing his club career in the best way possible by securing his fifth Champions League title, he can also bow out of the international scene by leading Die Mannschaft to glory as hosts.

“That ending would be a bit too cheesy, with the Champions League and the European Championship, but I’ll take it,” said Kroos.

“It went hand-in-hand with the decision to come back.

“I still want to be successful and I want to win the tournament this summer. That’s quite clear.

“If I didn’t feel this idea – or this fantasy – was possible, then I wouldn’t have come back, because it’s always about winning any competition I play in.”

Germany kick off the tournament on Friday against Scotland at the Allianz Arena.

Picture of Cian Cheesbrough

Cian Cheesbrough

Cian is a sports journalist with a wealth of experience writing for national titles, including LiveScore, MailOnline, Eurosport and Sky Sports. He has covered a number of key events during his time in the industry, including from the press box at live Champions League fixtures.