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Kroos says he’s not Germany’s ‘saviour’ ahead of Euro 2024 return

World Cup winner Toni Kroos on Thursday announced he was coming out of international retirement ahead of Euro 2024, but insisted he was “not the saviour” of a struggling Germany team.

Kroos, 34, will be available for selection in the upcoming March international friendlies against France and the Netherlands having stepped away from the national team three years ago.

“Hey folks, short and sweet, I’ll be playing for Germany again from March,” Kroos said in an Instagram post.

“Why? Because I was asked by the coach and I’m up for it.

“I’m sure that much more is possible with the team at the European Championship than most people think right now.”

However, speaking on the Einfach mal Luppen podcast he hosts with his brother Felix, Kroos warned: “I’m not the saviour.”

“We can say goodbye to that idea straight away. I see myself as a small cog that fits in with the others.”

The Real Madrid midfielder, who has 106 caps for Germany, stepped down from international duty after the Euro 2020 last-16 elimination at the hands of eventual finalists England.

Kroos revealed that Real and Germany teammate Antonio Rudiger “got the ball rolling” on his comeback to the national team, before speaking to national coach Julian Nagelsmann about a possible return. 

“There were detailed conversations, even before we discussed my possible comeback. He was interested in my opinion on one or two topics.

“It’s certainly a great confirmation for me when the national team coach calls and says I’m needed.”

‘Not the favourites’

Kroos said his side were “not the favourites” for the Euros which are being played on home turf but “the players without exception have great qualities.”

“We have to show that now. It’s nice to be able to say ‘we’ again.”

The four-time world champions have struggled in recent years, having been dumped out at the group stage in the past two World Cups.

Germany have won just three of their 11 matches since the 2022 World Cup finals, a run which led to Hansi Flick becoming the first Germany coach to be sacked.

His replacement Nagelsmann, who has a contract until the end of Euro 2024, has won just one of four games since taking over. His team has lost to Turkey and Austria.

Kroos has missed just two out of a possible 32 matches in La Liga and the Champions League for Real Madrid this season amid an ongoing injury crisis for the Spanish league leaders.

“His pass rate is the same as 10 years ago. He’s always top class,” Real coach Carlo Ancelotti said of Kroos earlier this month.

Nagelsmann had previously described the idea of a Kroos comeback as “an interesting thought”.

Germany play a friendly against France in Lyon on March 23, then host the Netherlands four days later in Frankfurt. 

Kroos would likely fit into a talented but inexperienced Germany midfield, with Jamal Musiala and Florian Wirtz both aged just 20.

Hosts Germany will open the Euros against Scotland in Munich on June 14, before also facing Hungary in Stuttgart on June 19 and Switzerland in Frankfurt on June 23 in Group A.

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