Kroos, Szczęsny and more. Legends ending their careers at Euro 2024

Artem RossinskySport
Five legends of modern football

Euro 2024 is already promising to be a grand football event. Germany is hosting the championship and wants to be not only a strong contender, but also the organizer of a great tournament. And even before the tournament starts, it is already taking the lead in terms of the number of players who will finish their performances for the national teams right now! And another group of top players has gathered nearby. OBOZ.UA has gathered famous players who will no longer play for their countries after this Euro.

Toni Kroos (Germany)

Of course, we will all remember Toni Kroos first. The legendary German has reached the "now for sure" condition and will hang up his boots on a nail after this Euro. The brilliant footballer announced his retirement from the German national team in the last draw, when the Bundestim showed a frankly bad result. But this time, everything turned out the way many eminent players would like: the coach personally invited him back. Nagelsmann had a frank conversation with the midfielder, and this year we will definitely see him in at least three top-level matches.

Kroos has had a truly great career. The 34-year-old finished his ten-year tenure at Real Madrid at the peak of his career. He wrote himself that his career would end this summer after the European Championships and that the cream of the crop would be his last club. And the home Euro 24 (where his team has a good chance of winning) will be the last major tournament.

Kroos, Szczęsny and more. Legends ending their careers at Euro 2024

This is exactly the case when the end of the performances will be really with a plus sign. The German leaves the club as a Champions League winner (4 wins in total), a multiple La Liga triumphant, and the winner of four Spanish and UEFA Super Cups. And that's not to mention the eleven trophies he won with Bayern, including a Champions League victory. At the national level, Kroos has more than a hundred appearances for Germany and a win at the 2014 World Cup. Ten years after that, he can add the first European Championship trophy to his collection.

Manuel Neuer (Germany)

We are not far from the Bundestim, because Neuer is also planning to end his career! The European Championship is likely to be his last international tournament. Manuel himself hasn't said anything about it yet, but Bild Sport journalists are writing about it, and his age already indicates that it's time to leave.

Neuer has played 118 games for the Germans and is preparing to add at least 3 during the group stage. It seems that he has been playing forever, because he started in 2009! During this time, there have been four World Cups and three Euros; this one will even the numbers. Manuel is a two-time bronze medalist in Europe and the winner of the 2014 World Cup. But for such a long career, the time of reckoning has indeed come - sources say that he has been planning his retirement from the national team for a long time and is really ready to focus on a different future. Then it will be the opening of a long-awaited path of opportunities for ter Stegen, because the second goalkeeper in Germany is also not young, and in 12 years he has made only 40 appearances.

Kroos, Szczęsny and more. Legends ending their careers at Euro 2024

However, unlike Kroos, the 38-year-old goalkeeper has not yet declared his career over. Yes, there are moments when he can't keep up with the pace and can make catastrophic mistakes (like in the match against Ukraine and Dovbyk's disallowed goal), but Bayern believe in their best goalkeeper and are not going to give up on him. They have eleven Bundesliga championships, numerous domestic cups, and two Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, and World Cup trophies each. Next season, the competition will be stronger - the goalkeeper will have to fight not only with the yellow Borussia and Bayer Leverkusen, but also Stuttgart and Eintracht.

Wojciech Szczęsny (Poland)

The equally legendary goalkeeper will finish his performances for the national team at Euro 24. Wojciech Szczęsny is strongly associated with Poland's success in recent years - eight dozen games and, perhaps, the most important game against Wales in recent years. The team seemed to be unprepared for the decisive battle, and only Wojciech stood up to the last. Having saved all the shots on goal, he led the team to a penalty shootout and dramatically parried the last shot.

Szczęsny actually intended this match to be his last. But qualification for the Euros has moved the plan to finish his career for the Poles - he will definitely have three more games.

"I will retire from the Polish national team after Euro 2024. No one will be able to convince me to change this decision, my family already knows about such plans. It makes no sense to start a new cycle with the preparation for the World Cup if I don't finish it. Should I stay in the national team and play a few matches in the Nations League? I think it's better to let others prepare for new tournaments."
- Wojciech Szczęsny

Along with his successes in Poland, he is also important for Juventus: three Scudettoes, three Cups, and the status of the best goalkeeper in Serie A. Although remember the days of Arsenal, where the Pole lit his star. They say the Gunners want him back. Thus, the 34-year-old goalkeeper can become a replacement for Ramsdale and play as the first choice for the former London team for some time.

Olivier Giroud (France)

Another famous figure, now from French football. Giroud symbolizes the desire to achieve results, which is why Olivier is the best scorer in the history of France. He can try to increase the gap with Mbappe, who is rushing towards him. The competition will be fierce: there are eight strikers in the tricolor application, but it seems that Giroud will receive honor from the coaching staff and 57 will not be the final number in the "goals for the national team" column for him. The Frenchman himself emphasized that it is necessary to make room for young players and wants to leave at his peak so that he can be remembered without that extra season. That's why this Euro will be the final song before the boots on the nail.

Kroos, Szczęsny and more. Legends ending their careers at Euro 2024

And at the club level, he has also reached a state of logical conclusion. Having first saved Milan (where everyone said the striker was useless), Olivier is going overseas - the Frenchman's transfer has already been announced by an MLS club. "LA Galaxy will be the next, and possibly the last, stop for the 37-year-old Frenchman.

His career is canonical. Giroud did not reach the level of Ronaldo or Messi, but he will be remembered for taking medals in all major tournaments. He is the 2018 World Cup champion and 2016 European silver medalist. It seems that the year and the moment have come when he can add the European continent's gold cup to his World Cup and League of Nations.

Luka Modrić (Croatia)

If not a German, then a Real Madrid player. The main personality in the center of the Madrid field is also likely to finish playing for Croatia this summer. Back in January, the local media wrote that Modric wanted to win several trophies before retiring from football. And he succeeds in doing so with aplomb: another La Liga, another Champions League. And now there will be an attempt to win the Euro, because the Croats have stopped so many times one step away from the desired victory, although bookmakers do not put them in the favorites of the tournament because of a bunch of obstacles. The first of them is the group of death - they have to fight with Spain and Italy (and Albania) for two tickets to the playoffs.

The warm-up has already taken place: Croatia defeated Portugal 2-1 in a friendly, where Modrić himself scored from the penalty spot. The 38-year-old midfielder did not play a full match, because his best qualities are being kept in full readiness for the Euros. Imagine that Luka has been playing for the Balkans for 18 years! Not all players at the club level reach such a long career, but Modrić is tireless. 174 games and 24 goals, as well as countless chances created and nominations for the best player. All the major victories came with Real Madrid - 6 Champions League, 5 World Cup, four La Liga, seven domestic cups.

Kroos, Szczęsny and more. Legends ending their careers at Euro 2024

But there are two medals for the national team - silver and bronze at the World Cup. There was no success in Europe, but it seems that this issue is solvable. If they pass the group or even win it, Croatia will be ready to destroy everyone at this Euro. Modric will be captain again, and he wants to remember the last Euro for himself. But even medals at the tournament will be a great closure to the incredible career of a player of a generation.

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