Home » Toni Kroos returns to the national team: “I’m keen on it”

Toni Kroos returns to the national team: “I’m keen on it”

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Toni Kroos returns to the national team: “I’m keen on it”

Toni Kroos will play for the German national football team again around three years after his retirement. After a request from national coach Julian Nagelsmann, he would “play for Germany again from March,” the 34-year-old Real Madrid midfielder announced on Instagram on Thursday.

He wrote verbatim: “Guys, short and painless: I will play for Germany again from March. Why? Because I was asked by the national coach, I’m up for it and I’m sure that a lot more is possible with the team at the European Championships than most people believe at the moment!”

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The German Football Association (DFB) also confirmed to WELT the return of the 106-time national player to the DFB team. However, there will be no official explanation about this, it was said.

Kroos returns in a delicate phase. The national team played one of the worst years in its history in 2023, which cost national coach Hans-Dieter Flick his job. The DFB team won just three of eleven games and lost six with two draws. The goal difference was 17:22. The last two games against Turkey (2:3) and Austria (0:2) were lost. It is obvious that this team needs leadership.

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“I currently see Toni as one of our best Germans,” said Rüdiger

At the beginning of December last year, Kroos and a possible comeback were speculated, written about and debated for the first time. Antonio Rüdiger, head of defense in the DFB team and teammate at Real, opened the discussion about it – and made people sit up and take notice in the crisis facing the national football team with the surprising personnel proposal.

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“A player like him, who is still at such a high level, really has to be there. I ask him every day,” Rüdiger said in an interview with DAZN on the sidelines of Real’s Champions League game at Union Berlin. “When Toni plays, it’s with his heart rate at 20 and a passing game from another planet – everything is great. I would really like him to play for the national team. But that’s his decision.”

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When Julian Nagelsmann, the national coach, was asked about Kroos’ return in ZDF’s “Sportstudio” shortly before Christmas, he called it “an interesting thought.” Nagelsmann described Kroos as an “outstanding player and outstanding person who is very reflective.” The two had talked, but according to the national coach, not yet specifically about a return to the European Championships. But: “If he shows the performance, I might call.” That has now happened.

Rudi Völler, the DFB sports director, had even opened the door a little wider: “He is still a world-class player who is capable of powerful things.” The “Bild” also reported in mid-December that the courtship of the Real Madrid star would have an initial effect. A report said at the time that Kroos could certainly imagine a comeback; the 33-year-old was said to be particularly impressed by the thought that his three children could see their father play at a European Championship in their own country.

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“Titanic signal,” said Hoeneß about Kroos

In mid-February it was Rüdiger who once again spoke out in favor of Kroos. “I opened a big barrel. I stand by what I said 100 percent,” he told Kicker with a laugh and added: “It’s a home European Championship, we want to have the best players there, and I currently see Toni as one of our best Germans , because he is also one of Real Madrid’s best players at the moment. And if I can speak so openly and honestly: I think many people think the same as me.”

Kroos himself said that such a request “doesn’t leave him indifferent” and is also “a great confirmation” of his current performance at Real Madrid. The 34-year-old explained that with each subsequent conversation with the national coach, he “became more and more pregnant” with the idea, “with the result of being available for this tournament.” Kroos spoke of a “significant decision” for him, in which he and Nagelsmann in particular had to come to a “common denominator”: “So you have to have the feeling that it fits and that something can come of it. Otherwise you can’t do it.”

Kroos doesn’t actually have to prove anything to anyone anymore. He is the only German player to have won the Champions League five times, four times with Real and once with FC Bayern Munich. The 2014 world champion is still considered a playing legend for the Royals. “Toni is irreplaceable, even when he’s not playing,” his coach Carlo Ancelotti said recently.

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But opinions have recently differed on the debate about the need for Kroos to return. “That would be quite a Titanic signal,” said Bayern patron Uli Hoeneß. Record national player Lothar Matthäus was also very skeptical. “Where should he play?” If you bring Kroos back, you automatically weaken Ilkay Gündogan, even as captain,” warned the 1990 World Cup captain.

Some national players, however, spoke out in favor of Kroos’ comeback. “I’m always happy to play with Toni. If he feels like it and has the time, he’s happy to,” said Bayern professional Joshua Kimmich. Real colleague Antonio Rüdiger was probably the strongest supporter of Kroos’ nomination. “And if I can speak so openly and honestly: I think many people think the same as me,” said the 30-year-old in “Kicker” just a few days ago.

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Test matches against France and the Netherlands

Kroos played his last international match to date on June 29, 2021 in the round of 16 of the European Championship. Germany lost 2-0 to the hosts at Wembley Stadium in London. The game was also the last game for then national coach Joachim Löw.

He was followed by Flick, who has since been replaced by Nagelsmann. The former Bayern coach only has one more international match before he has to name his provisional European Championship squad at the end of May. The national team will face France in friendly matches on March 23rd in Lyon and three days later in Frankfurt/M. to the Netherlands. The European Championship begins for the DFB team on June 14th in Munich against Scotland. With Toni Kroos resigning. The other EM opponents are Switzerland and Hungary.

In July 2021, he justified his departure from the national team as follows: “I had made the decision to quit after this tournament for a long time. It has been clear to me for a long time that I would not be available for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Especially because I want to concentrate fully on my goals with Real Madrid for the next few years. From now on I will consciously allow myself breaks, which I haven’t had as a national player for eleven years. And I also want to be there more as a husband and dad for my wife and my three children.”

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