Germany midfielder Toni Kroos has been tipped to announce his retirement from international football in the wake of Die Mannschaft’s elimination from Euro 2020 at the hands of England.
The Real Madrid star has played 106 times for Germany since making his debut in March 2010, with World Cup victory in 2014 the crowning achievement of an illustrious international career.
31-year-old Kroos has been to three World Cups in total, with Euro 2020 now his third European Championship. But with the German national setup now at a crossroad with Hansi Flick set to come in and a number of younger players in the squad, some of the older guard could step away.
Bild reports that Kroos, who was powerless to stop a poor Germany from exiting the 2018 World Cup at the group stage, was already thinking about his international future before Euro 2020 and will now assess the situation again following an early exit at the last 16 stage.
That is despite the lure of the 2022 World Cup on the horizon. The finals in Qatar are now only a little over a year away and much closer than a usual tournament cycle.
But he isn’t the only senior member of the squad to contemplate international retirement.
Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan is seemingly another. The 30-year-old was dropped for the England game and had played fewer minutes with each passing game during the group stage. Having been one of the Premier League’s standout players last season, he is thought to be frustrated by questions over whether there is a place for him and could quit on his own terms.
Thomas Muller, 31, and Mats Hummels, 32, are two others that Bild is tipping to potentially now also consider international retirement.
Muller in particular is a veteran of the 2010 World Cup, where he scored five goals to finish win the Golden Boot at the age of just 20. He was famously left out of the national team by Joachim Low for two and a half years after the 2018 World Cup but was recalled for this tournament.