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After ten long years, Real Madrid and Germany midfielder Toni Kroos has announced his retirement from the sport. His career, which began on July 17, 2014, concludes at the 2024 European Championship, set to be his final tournament. The 34-year-old midfielder shared the news on Instagram on Tuesday afternoon, opening a floodgate of emotions from around the world, including Cristiano Ronaldo. Kroos’s decision to retire follows after a critical comment he made in 2023 about the Saudi Arabian League and its high-profile transfers.

He was particularly critical of moves like that of his former Real Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, who currently plays for Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia. Despite these pointed comments, the bond between Kroos and Ronaldo remains strong, underscoring the personal respect and camaraderie that transcend their professional boundaries.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s wholesome message to former teammate Toni Kroos

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On Instagram, CR7 expressed his heartfelt sentiments beneath Toni Kroos’s retirement announcement. In response to the German’s post, Ronaldo wrote, Por tudo e por tanto, Toni! Qué honor compartir el campo contigo. Todo lo mejor para el futuro. 🤍 which translates to, “Thank you for everything and for so much, Toni! What an honor to share the field with you. All the best for the future. This message from Ronaldo highlights the deep mutual respect and friendship the two football legends share.

 

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A post shared by Toni Kroos (@toni.kr8s)

In 2023, Toni Kroos shared his scathing take regarding the Saudi Arabian Pro League and its high-profile transfers. Kroos didn’t mince words, saying, It is a decision for money and against football. He expressed his views in an interview with Sports Illustrated, where he condemned the trend of players moving to the Saudi league and argued that such decisions undermine the essence of football.

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In particular, Kroos also mentioned Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia as an example. While acknowledging players have the right to make career decisions, he emphasized the importance of considering the broader implications, especially as one’s career nears its end. Despite his outspoken views, Toni Kroos has undoubtedly shown his love and respect for Cristiano Ronaldo, even favoring him over Messi.

Kroos’ first pick in the Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi debate

The age-old debate of Who’s the best: Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi? is not going away anytime soon. But Toni Kroos didn’t hesitate to pick his former colleague, Ronaldo, as the superior player. Kroos gave props to Ronaldo’s impact at Real Madrid, where he carried the team to victory on multiple occasions. But it wasn’t just about the on-field heroics for Kroos; it was also about the personal connection.

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He shared, We were not only teammates but also neighbors in the dressing room and neighbors in private. He lived right next to me. Seeing what a perfectionist he is was impressive. That is why it is forbidden for me to name Messi (as the best player of all time).” What do you make of Toni Kroos bidding farewell to Real Madrid as we celebrate this remarkable friendship? Share your thoughts in the comments below!