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Real Madrid: Carlo Ancelotti pays tribute to Toni Kroos ahead of retirement

Carlo Ancelotti says Real Madrid cannot replace Toni Kross ahead of the German international's retirement.

Toni Kroos

Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti has paid tribute to departing midfielder Toni Kroos ahead of his final LaLiga match.

The German international announced he will be retiring after Euro 2024 and his last game for Los Blancos will be the Champions League final at Wembley on 1 June.

Kroos has been at Madrid for 10 years, winning a catalogue of silverware on his journey in the Spanish capital.

He is a four-time Champions League winner with his current club and has four league titles and one Spanish Cup.

Ancelotti has been using the 34-year-old more sporadically this term, but he has still been integral in Madrid’s success domestically and in Europe.

Kroos has featured 46 times in all competitions, scoring once and tallying nine assists.

His head coach was asked about his retirement ahead of the finale against Real Betis and had some kind words for the veteran.

“I don’t think it was a difficult decision for him. Veteran players, legends, have to choose their destiny”, Ancelotti said.

“Toni has made that decision, and it must be respected. We have to say goodbye to him as best we can. I respect his decision, it is that of a man with balls.

“Saying goodbye like this would be ideal. Then you have to have the courage to do it, and I have a lot of respect for what he has done.

“Replacing someone like him is almost impossible, but this squad has resources in young people so that they take responsibility and follow the path set over the last ten years.

“Every year they lose pieces, but they don’t lose the atmosphere, the attitude and the commitment, they have to maintain the clean environment that exists.

“It depends on each person, but I don’t think it was a difficult decision for him.”


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Mitch Fretton

Mitch is a freelance sports journalist with experience working for LiveScore, GOAL and Colchester United. He has experience working from both his desk at home and in the press box at games covering the Champions League and international football.