Tuesday, June 18, 2024

´Legend´ Kroos hailed by Valverde after triumphant Madrid send-off

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 1 Jun 2024

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Toni Kroos was hailed as a “legend” by his fellow midfielder Federico Valverde after helping Real Madrid win their 15th European crown in the final game of his club career on Saturday.

Kroos enjoyed a winning send-off in the Champions League final at Wembley Stadium, assisting Dani Carvajal’s opener in a hard-fought 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund.

The 34-year-old – who will hang up his boots after representing Germany at Euro 2024 – joined Luka Modric and Nacho in winning his sixth European crown, a feat only previously achieved by Paco Gento.

Kroos led all 22 starters for touches (108), passes attempted (94), and passes completed (91), while only Ferland Mendy, with perfect distribution, bettered his passing accuracy (96.8 per cent). Dortmund’s Julian Brandt matched his four chances created.

Speaking to Movistar after the game, Kroos expressed relief that Madrid had survived a below-par first half, in which Dortmund missed several decent chances.

“The decisive thing was that we didn’t concede in the first half. The first half really wasn’t good from us,” Kroos said.

“Then we got into the game better and scored the goal. We were fully there and the better team. But it took a long time until we were the better team tonight.”

Valverde, meanwhile, was glowing in his praise for Kroos.

Asked how much he would miss his retiring midfield partner, the Uruguayan said: “A lot, like everyone else.

“He is a person who has left his legend here, his mark. We, as youngsters, try to learn as much from him as possible, like with Modric.

“Thank you for all that you have given and taught us on a day-to-day basis, for that competitiveness.”

Asked about Madrid’s winning mentality, he added: “It comes from the greatest, those who give this value to this club: you always win.

“Tomorrow we’ll go to celebrate, but they’ll tell us to win it again next year!”

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