Toni Kroos has admitted he wants to retire at a high level and does not want to see his career fizzle out from the bench.
The German midfielder, who turned 33 in January, recently signed a new one-year contract at Real Madrid to take him into his tenth season at the Santiago Bernabeu, but there is an acceptance that Kroos is entering the twilight of his career.
Speaking to RTL, Kroos insisted he remains confident in his abilities but acknowledged his fears of seeing his body begin to fail him.
“There are one or two negative examples, who simply could not leave football, and were no longer the player people have in their minds,” he confessed. “I don’t want that to happen to me.”
Kroos, who also revealed he does not want to end his career as a substitute, added: “I have the feeling that this season has gone as well as the last nine in Madrid. Why wouldn’t the next one go just as well? I still enjoy football and I’m hungry for titles.”
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Kroos has been a star of Real Madrid’s midfield for the past decade alongside fellow veteran Luka Modric but Los Blancos have made an active effort to rejuvenate in that area of the pitch in recent years.
Federico Valverde, Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni – 24, 20 and 23 respectively – were joined this summer by 20-year-old Jude Bellingham, who arrived from Borussia Dortmund in a deal worth over €100m and took Zinedine Zidane’s iconic number five shirt.
With Dani Ceballos also inking a new four-year contract, Carlo Ancelotti now has no fewer than seven central midfielders to call upon.
It’s that surplus of midfielders which has led to reports suggesting Ancelotti could be set to deviate away from his favoured 4-3-3 formation this season in favour of a 4-3-1-2.
On this week’s edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders is joined by Toby Cudworth, Graeme Bailey and Sean Walsh to discuss Mason Mount’s impending move to Man Utd, Arsenal’s various deals, Liverpool’s pursuit of Dominik Szoboszlai and more!
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