Toni Kroos: The tale of a lasting legacy at Real Madrid

Toni Kroos will play his final game for Real Madrid in the Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley.

Toni Kroos will not be penning down a new deal with Real Madrid as he has decided to end his career after the end of the ongoing season. He will play his last game for the team in white at the start of June before joining the German national team for the Euros, which will be his final tournament before he hangs up his boots.

Despite only being 34 and still having a few years left in him, Kroos has decided to call it a day. The former Bayern Munich star has often talked about retiring at the peak of his powers, that too at Real Madrid. He is all set to fulfil his desire as he prepares for the final weeks of his footballing career.

Kroos has won it all, and he is going to go down in history as one of the best players to have taken the field. But, things could have been much different had he not parted ways with Bayern Munich back in 2014. Things did not work out according to plan for him at the German club, which resulted in a switch to Real Madrid for a bargain price and the rest is history.

From Bayern Munich to Real Madrid

Kroos came up the ranks at Bayern Munich before establishing himself as an important first-team player. Back in 2013, the club were looking to offer the midfielder a new deal. But, they were not ready to meet his wage demands.

He was aware of the fact that Mario Gotze and a few other players from the same age group were being paid much more than what he was getting. As a result, he was looking for a new deal, which would see him earn over €10 million. However, talks with the Bayern hierarchy did not really go according to plan. They were not ready to offer him a pay rise as he was not a first-team regular.

Bayern’s president said to Kroos, “We won’t pay you any more than 10m euros because you’re not world class,”

It was not really the money that mattered to Kroos but he felt undervalued at the club and decided to part ways. Eventually, he ended up joining Real Madrid for just €25 million in the summer of 2014.

Kroos’s decade-long dominance at Real Madrid

People at Bayern Munich might not have been convinced by the idea that Kroos was a world-class player. But it seems Carlo Ancelotti knew exactly what he was capable of. As a result, the Italian manager pushed for his signing during his first stint at the club.

Kroos has gone on to do wonders at the Spanish club. He has helped them win four Champions League titles as well as four league titles over the years. In his initial years, he formed a dependable partnership with Casemiro and Luka Modric in the centre of the park.

The trio was one of the major reasons why Real Madrid ended up winning the Champions League three years in a row. With Casemiro no longer at the club and Modric not a regular starter, Kroos has been the go-to man for Ancelotti in his second stint at the club.

The German international has played a big part in their dominant run in all competitions this season. He has once again dictated the pace of the game and helped his team win the league and make it to yet another Champions League final.

Apart from the trophies that he has won with Los Blancos, his style of play and his ability to dictate the tempo of the game is what stands out. Back in the day, Casemiro talked about how the German midfielder decides at what pace the team plays.

The Brazilian said, “Real Madrid games always follow the rhythm of Toni Kroos. If he wants the team to slow down, we slow down. If he wants us to speed up, we speed up. He decides everything.”

Kroos’s departure could lead to a new deal for Modric

Toni Kroos has been a regular feature in Real Madrid’s midfield this season. While the team in white has some of the best young midfielders in the squad, they have always relied on experienced campaigners.

Real Madrid fans were not really expecting Kroos to retire after the end of the season. The departure of Luka Modric was the most likely outcome with the German international continuing for another season.

However, he has no intentions to have a secondary role at the club. He has always had the desire to retire while he is still at his best, and the 34-year-old feels the time has come for that to happen. With Kroos calling it a day, Real Madrid might now look to offer Luka Modric a new deal.

Modric is already 38 and his deal is all set to expire after the Champions League final. While Real Madrid would have preferred to extend Kroos’ stay at the club, they might now have to ask Modric to continue for another year

Ancelotti has no intention of letting both his experienced midfielders leave in the same transfer window. While neither of them would have had a starting role next season, the Italian manager still wants to ensure that at least one of them is a part of their dressing room for another year.

With Kroos leaving, Modric now has to be the one to carry on. Ancelotti wants to ensure the transition happens smoothly. People who come into the club should realise what Real Madrid means and watching Modric go about his thing will surely help them.

More importantly, when the going gets tough, Ancelotti wants to have the option to throw in his most experienced weapons to change the tide of the game. As a result, it will be interesting to see if Modric is offered a new deal or if he ends up walking away alongside his partner in crime, Toni Kroos.

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