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Euro 2024: Will Toni Kroos have a fairytale ending to his glittering career?


While Euro 2024 is going to be spectacular in Germany, it is also likely going to be the last time we see some of this generation’s most iconic talents representing their respective nations, including Croatia’s midfield maestro Luka Modric, Germany’s indomitable shot-stopper Manuel Neuer and Portugal’s evergreen talisman Cristiano Ronaldo.

One player who has confirmed his retirement is German great Toni Kroos. The 34-year-old midfielder initially called time on representing Die Mannschaft after the last European Championships in 2021, when Germany were knocked out of Euro 2020 in the round of 16 by England.

However, Kroos was convinced to come out of international retirement after positive talks with current Germany boss Julian Nagelsmann earlier this year and he revealed on his social media that he believes the hosts have a good chance at Euro 2024.

“I’ll be playing for Germany again from March. Why? Because I was asked by the coach and I’m up for it,” Kroos told his Instagram followers. “I’m sure that much more is possible with the team at the European Championship than most people think right now.”

Germany are the third favourites behind England and France to win the tournament if you’re looking for a way to use your Euro 2024 free bets, but is Kroos onto something when he says that more is possible with this team than most people think?

It is no secret that Germany have had a pretty dire time of it over the last few years. Joachim Low stepped down after 16 years in charge of Die Mannschaft, which included a World Cup success in 2014, following the last Euros, and Germany have been on a downward spiral.

Hansi Flick was the man entrusted with taking the reins, and the new Barcelona boss had a nightmare tenure in charge of Germany in his two years — being embarrassingly knocked out of the 2022 World Cup in the group stage for the second tournament in a row while operating a win-rate under 50%.

Nagelsmann took over back in September, and while results have continued to be mixed, there is certainly something about this German side that could see them perform to a very high standard on home soil.

Despite only being 36 years old, Nagelsmann is a mature coach with over eight years of experience at the highest level of the game, including winning the Bundesliga and two DFL-Supercups in a relatively short stint with Bayern Munich.

Getting Kroos to come out of international retirement could prove to be a stroke of genius, and his cut-throat approach to his Euro 2024 squad, which includes notable absentees like Mats Hummels and Leon Goretzka, has to be admired.

In his seven games in charge, Germany have won three, drawn two and lost two, but there are excuses. Nagelsmanntinkered with his squads, starting XI and formations in his first four games—two of which he lost—to find the right formula, and he arguably has done that.

Wins over France and the Netherlands back in March were huge statements from Die Mannschaft, and you can’t rule them out from toppling the England betting odds on the back of notable wins like that.

Nagelsmann also has a good balance of youth and experience in his side, with experienced figures like Manuel Neuer, Kroos and Thomas Muller joined by exciting youngsters including Jamal Musiala, Florian Wirtz and Aleksandar Pavlović.

Kroos won the La Liga/Champions League double with Real Madrid this year, but will he sail off into the sunset with a European Championship added to his glittering CV? Only time will tell.

 


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