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Ronaldo, Kroos, Modric and Other Players To Retire After Euros 2024

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By Christian Webster - - 5 Mins Read
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Ronaldo lifts the UEFA Nations Cup trophy in 2019 | Vlad/Shutterstock

The UEFA European Championship, also known as the Euros, is one of the most anticipated sporting events of 2024.

Germany is set to host the tournament from June 14 to July 14, marking the first time the unified West and East Germany will host the competition.

A total of 24 teams will be vying for the prestigious title, with first-time qualifier Georgia joining the lineup.

As always, there are particular teams that fans have high expectations for in terms of their performance in the tournament.

For this year’s edition, countries like France, Germany, England, Portugal, and Spain are expected to showcase their best players and strategies on the field.

However, this edition of the Euros carries a significant emotional weight as it will mark the final appearance of several legendary players, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Toni Kroos, and Luka Modric.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo smiles for a photo at the Al Nassr training ground

Al Nassr footballer Cristiano Ronaldo | Shutterstock

Cristiano Ronaldo is renowned for his exceptional skills and athleticism, and he is set to participate in the Euros for the sixth time, a record in itself.

At 39 years old, Ronaldo who now plays for Saudi side Al Nassr continues to be a crucial part of Roberto Martinez's plans.

Fans worldwide will cherish this final opportunity to witness the "Ronaldo experience" on such a grand stage.

While neither Ronaldo nor Portugal has confirmed his retirement from international football after the Euros, it seems improbable that he will continue to the next tournament in 2028, considering the game's physical demands.

In his latest episode with Whoop Podcast, Ronaldo said, "It's not easy to be at this level. To still push, to still motivate, to carry on, to score goals, to be in good shape, to compete with the young lions that are coming, and that when they play against me, they want to show me that they are stronger and faster than me. You have to prepare very well, not just physically but mentally, too. This is the challenge."

Also read: Copa America 2024: Date, Groups, and How to Watch

Toni Kroos - Germany

 

Toni KROOS during the FIFA 2014 World Cup. Germany is facing France in the quarter-finals at Maracana Stadium

Toni Kross in action for Germany at the 2014 FIFA World Cup | Celso Pupo/Shutterstock

 

Germany's midfield maestro, Toni Kroos, will bid farewell to football after the Euros. Having already retired from international play in 2021, Kroos returned to help his country one last time on home soil.

At 34, he aims to lead Germany to glory, bringing his experience and skill to every game the Germans play in the competition.

Kroos had earlier announced his retirement from club football with Real Madrid, where he had an illustrious career filled with trophies and accolades. 

Kroos told ESPN ahead of the Euros, "At the same time, this decision means that my career as an active footballer will end this summer after the European Championship. As I have always said, Real Madrid is and will be my last club. I am happy and proud that I found the right timing for my decision and that I could choose it myself. My ambition was always to finish my career at the peak of my performance level."

Luka Modric

 

Luka Modric in action for Croatia

Luka Modric | Vlad1988 / Shutterstock.com

 

Luka Modric is Croatia's most capped player and will likely take his final bow in international football at the Euros.

At 38, Modric has been vital to Croatia's success, including a second-place finish at the 2018 World Cup. His role in the team remains crucial, as he can control the game from midfield and create scoring opportunities.

Despite his age, Modric continues performing at a high level for his country and club. He recently extended his contract with Real Madrid until 2025.

“The decision on my future is made, but I can't tell you yet,' Modric said in an interview with Partidaz de Cope. 'I have always said I want to retire at Real Madrid. This is what I really want. This would be a dream; this is my home, the club of my life. I want a farewell like Toni Kroos,' he added while Speaking to ESPN. 

Manuel Neuer

 

Manuel Neuer 1 close up portrait. Germany - Netherlands. UEFA Nations League. Schalke 04 stadium.

Manuel Neuer for Germany | Anton_Ivanov/Shutterstock

 

Manuel Neuer, Germany's legendary goalkeeper, is another star set to retire after the Euros.

The 38-year-old has been a fixture in the national team, with  his extraordinary reflexes and role as a “sweeper-keeper." 

Despite recent injuries, Neuer remains an essential part of Germany's plans for the tournament, where he will likely be starting ahead of Ter Stegen.

His retirement will leave a massive void in the squad, and his contributions to the game will be remembered for years.

 

Olivier Giroud

 

Olivier Giroud of The France team in Marseille during the match of a friendly match between France and Ivory Coast on March 25, 2022 at the Velodrome stadium

Olivier Giroud for France | A.Taoualit / Shutterstock

 

Olivier Giroud is regarded as one of the top strikers that France has produced in the past twenty years.

After the Euros, he plans to retire with several other players from international football in 2024.

Having scored 57 goals in 131 matches, Giroud has consistently been a reliable goal scorer and vital to France's success.

At 37, he has chosen to step back to allow younger talents to shine.

Despite his retirement from international play, Giroud's wealth of experience and influence will be crucial for France as they strive for further success in the tournament.

Following the conclusion of the Euros, Giroud intends to continue playing for at least two more years at club level.

He recently joined Major League Soccer (MLS) team Los Angeles FC after leaving Italian side AC Milan on a free transfer.

"To be honest, this will be my last competition with Les Bleus. Obviously, I'm going to miss it a lot," Giroud told L'Equipe in an interview published on Thursday.

Christian Eriksen

Wales v Denmark, Uefa Nations League, Cardiff City Stadium, 16/11/18: Denmark footballer Christian Eriksen

Christian Eriksen for Denmark | Influential Photography / Shutterstock.com

 

Christian Eriksen has been a vital player for the Danish team since his debut in 2010. It is highly likely that this tournament will mark his final appearance for his country.

After experiencing a cardiac arrest during Euro 2020, Eriksen's remarkable return to top-level football has been nothing short of miraculous.

Now fully fit and prepared, he is determined to captain Denmark once more, bringing his creativity and vision to the field.

His retirement will signal the end of a significant era for Danish football. Nevertheless, it will also provide an opportunity for the younger generations to showcase their abilities to the team.

 

Robert Lewandowski

Robert Lewandowski in a friendly match for Poland vs Germany

Robert Lewandowski in a friendly match for Poland | Dziurek / Shutterstock

Robert Lewandowski is currently Poland's top all-time scorer and is likely to retire from international duty after the Euros.

The 35-year-old Barcelona forward has been a cornerstone for Poland's national team, evident in his goal-scoring ability and leadership.

With 76 goals in 132 appearances, Lewandowski's impact on Polish football will be hard to replicate in this era.

Despite having an outstanding club football career and winning every collective and individual trophy possible, he has not won any with his national team.

As he gears up for his final tournament, Lewandowski aims to conclude his national team career with the European trophy.

Conclusion 

Fans eagerly anticipate the start of Euros 2024. However, these legendary Euro 2024 players remind us of the nature of sports careers and the impact of their contributions. Their final appearances will celebrate their achievements and be an opportunity to bid farewell to some of the greatest players we have seen in the game in recent years.

 

Which one of them would you like to end their career with the European trophy?

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