Toni Kroos has signed a new one-year contract at Real Madrid, but the German midfielder is yet to decide whether he will be retiring in 2024.
- German staying on the Bernabeu
- Praised Blancos for their patience
- Yet to make any long-term plans
WHAT HAPPENED? The World Cup winner has hinted on a regular basis in recent times that his illustrious career may be coming to a close. There was talk of boots being hung up at the end of the 2022-23 campaign, but the 33-year-old has committed to at least 12 more months at Santiago Bernabeu. He is reluctant to speculate on what the long-term future could hold for him, with the plan being to carry on enjoying the present.
WHAT THEY SAID: Kroos told his ‘Einfach mal luppen’ podcast when asked if he will be bowing out next year: “Right now I don’t want to commit to anything. Don’t know. Perhaps there will be a much earlier, clearer decision… or not. Why close off either option now? There is no reason, at least not now. We’ll see how the year starts, how everything goes. Then I will ask myself the same questions as this year.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Kroos kept Real waiting before agreeing an extension in the Spanish capital, with the former Bayern Munich star praising the Liga giants for handling his situation so well. He added on the reasons for putting pen to paper: “Because I feel like it’s the right thing to do. In fact, I would like to congratulate the club on the way they have handled this whole matter. I think it has once again been a course of events absolutely worthy of this connection of mine to the club, on both sides. I played my role saying from the beginning and always very clearly: ‘I’m not leaving here anymore. I’m not sure if I want to play another year or not, but I’m not leaving here’. Of course, the club has to take into account two important things: in theory, I could have signed elsewhere at any time from the first of January. One is that the club, theoretically, could have put pressure on me earlier. And the second is that, when the new year begins, you have to plan to some extent for the next season in terms of personnel. Here we don’t need big negotiations or haggling, I wasn’t going to get another club involved through my agent. But at no time did they exert pressure to find out earlier.”
IN TWO PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? Kroos took in another 52 appearances for Real last season, taking him beyond 400 in total, but he will face added competition for places in 2023-24 as the Blancos have just invested €103 million (£88m/$112m) in England international midfielder Jude Bellingham.