Kroos bids emotional farewell to Real fans

rugby25 May 2024 21:29| Β© Reuters

Toni Kroos bade an emotional farewell to Real Madrid fans at a sold-out Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday as the German midfielder played his final home game after a remarkable decade with the Spanish giants.

A goalless draw with Real Betis was largely irrelevant with Real confirmed as LaLiga champions and all the European qualification and relegation spots decided, so the evening was about celebrating the 34-year-old Kroos.

One of Real's most successful players of all time, Kroos announced on Tuesday that he will retire after this year's European Championship on home soil.

He fought back tears as walked on to the pitch through a corridor formed by his teammates, who were wearing his No 8 jersey as the fans held up a giant flag with his face and the words "Thank you, legend" which covered the south stand.

In the 85th minute, Kroos broke down in tears when, after receiving another standing ovation as he was substituted, he embraced his three children who were all crying on the sidelines.

The game was stopped for several minutes as Kroos hugged each of his teammates and his coach.

Real ended their LaLiga campaign top of the standings on 95 points, 13 ahead bitter rivals Barcelona in second.

They face Borussia Dortmund next Saturday in the Champions League final.