Toni Kroos: “My idea is to retire at Real Madrid”

No German player has made more appearances for Real Madrid than Toni Kroos. After overtaking Uli Stielike, Kroos sat down with Real Madrid TV to talk about his favourite moments from his 309 games at the club: “Becoming the German with the most appearances is special and I’m delighted. When you look at the Germans who have played here you realise that they are big names: Netzer, Schuster or Stielike.”

“Overtaking Stielike, who is a club legend, makes me really happy. It’s a special record and I’m delighted to get to this point. As I’ve always said, my idea is to retire here and that’s what I’m going to try to do.”

His debut
“It was special. I joined the club after becoming world champion in the summer of 2014. It was my first game and my first trophy (the European Super Cup). That’s not normal. Beginning like that at a club like Real Madrid is important. It was a delight to win my first trophy and to know that everything was going well. The club president told me he thought that it wasn’t my first game here. I felt very comfortable for my debut.”

His assists
“I like the fact that my team-mates give me the ball because that means they have confidence in what I do. If you have your team-mates’ confidence, it’s easier. I try to give my best in every game and every pass I make that doesn’t reach my team-mate annoys me. I try to strive for perfection in this sense, although you can never be perfect. I practice it and I’ve been working on it continuously for many years.”

Appreciation for the fans in the twelfth Champions League trophy
“A Champions League final is always special and I wanted to express my delight and happiness. You don’t often see me like this and it was a tribute to the fans who always help us in games like this. I always think about living in the moment. I know we made history and at the end of my career I’ll look back on it, but for now I just want more. We also have the chance to win the Champions League this year and I’m focused on that, but it helps to know that we’ve already done something amazing”.

“If you only win one trophy, it’s easier to choose. But out of all of them, I’ll take the Champions League we won in Kiev because it was the only one I managed to celebrate with the whole family. In Cardiff, it was only with my son because my daughter was too young. Winning a trophy here is an unforgettable experience.”

The boot-cleaning celebration with Ramos
“I love that image. People know that me and Sergio have a great connection at corners or free kicks. You can see that in this celebration. He knows that he can’t do it alone and that he needs someone to play the ball to him. The image reflects recognition because in football you can’t score a goal on your own and you’re not going to win on your own. It’s always about a connection between players.”

Goal straight from corner against Valencia
“I remember it really well. The opposition goalkeeper was off his line, talking to his teammates. We always have 5, 6 or 7 corners in games and it occurred to me to take advantage and do something special. It’s not difficult to score a goal like that, with that shot, what’s difficult is doing it at that moment, quickly and under pressure. It was special. Here you call it an Olympic goal.”

Message from Stielike: “I hope you will be able to retire at this club”.
Uli Stielike spoke to his compatriot via a video call and left the following message: “Hello Toni. Many congratulations on your 309 appearances in a Real Madrid shirt and on achieving the record of becoming the German with the most appearances for the club. I wish you all the best for the future, and especially good health. I hope you will be able to retire at this club. All the best.”

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