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Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has disclosed his attempts to dissuade Toni Kroos from retiring at the end of the season.

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The legendary German midfielder will conclude his illustrious career after Euro 2024 in his homeland, marking the end of a remarkable journey at the highest echelons of European football.

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Throughout the 2023/24 season, Kroos remained an indispensable figure for Ancelotti at the Bernabeu, contributing significantly as Los Blancos reclaimed the La Liga title and progressed to the Champions League final, where they are set to face Borussia Dortmund next week.

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However, ahead of Kroos’s final appearance at the club’s iconic stadium against Real Betis on Saturday night, Ancelotti revealed in his pre-match press conference his efforts to convince him against retirement.

“We have worked well this week and we want to finish well. It has been a fantastic campaign, we have done very well from the beginning,” Ancelotti remarked. “Tomorrow [Saturday] we say goodbye to a legend of our club and we want to enjoy it. It is an important day. We are very happy for how we have managed this league that has been deserved and with many points.”

Acknowledging Kroos’s decision, Ancelotti emphasized the significance of respecting it, lauding the midfielder’s bravery in opting for retirement.

“As we have said many times, legends have to choose their destiny. We have to respect Toni’s decision and we have to say goodbye to him as best we can. I respect his decision a lot because he is a man with balls. Replacing him is very complicated but impossible,” Ancelotti reflected.

He further elaborated on Kroos’s determination to bid farewell at the pinnacle of his career, stressing the difficulty in replacing such a talent but expressing confidence in the squad’s depth and character.

“On a technical level, it is very difficult to find him, but it is not what we are thinking,” Ancelotti admitted. “He sees it the same, he is calm and focused on what he has to do. He is a German, and it is very difficult to change his mind. There were no tears in the talk; he is very convinced.”

Despite the sentimental farewell to Kroos, Ancelotti highlighted the club’s promising midfield talents like Jude Bellingham and Federico Valverde, suggesting a bright future even in Kroos’s absence.

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