UEFA Euro 2024: Germany midfielder Toni Kroos upbeat ahead of quarterfinal clash with Spain

Berlin (Germany), July 3 (IANS) Self-confidence has grown to new heights for Germany before they face Spain in the UEFA Euro 2024 quarterfinal, former Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos said at a press conference at the team's base camp in Herzogenaurach.
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UEFA Euro 2024: Germany midfielder Toni Kroos upbeat ahead of quarterfinal clash with Spain

Berlin (Germany), July 3 (IANS) Self-confidence has grown to new heights for Germany before they face Spain in the UEFA Euro 2024 quarterfinal, former Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos said at a press conference at the team's base camp in Herzogenaurach.

"Faith has grown extremely within this team. We have learned we can survive tight situations; we believe in our quality much more than we did in recent months," the 34-year-old said ahead of the match this Friday evening in Stuttgart.

After 10 years in the shirt of Real Madrid, he said that winning Euro 2024 on home soil was the driving force behind his return to the German team, after his initial retirement from international football in 2021. "I wouldn't have returned if this idea hadn't been in my head and was part of the talks I had with [head coach] Julian Nagelsmann," the 113-cap midfielder said.

A European Championship title is still missing in his career record, despite having won 34 trophies for club and country since he started his career in 2007, reports Xinhua. "You are telling me that (Spain winger) Lamine Yamal was born that year makes me feel older right now. He is a great, great player and was assumedly the best performer for Barcelona last season," the midfielder added.

Having announced his retirement from football after the tournament, Kroos said he is sure that crossing swords with Spain will not be his last game, despite Spain striker Joselu having announced to "hopes to retire him" by beating the tournament hosts. "That's nice of him to have that idea, but mine is different," Kroos answered.

The Germany midfielder said he is aware "I will stop playing football in some weeks, but I am not nostalgic about it. This day comes for everyone, and I am happy to have decided on my own."

There will be days "I will miss football in the future," he said. "There won't be anything I can do as good as football. But I am looking forward to a new chapter in my life."

The duel against Spain is decided by the team that dominates midfield. "The one taking the lead in the center is likely to win the game. We are aware of that, and we have set up solutions for all possible situations," the 2014 World Cup winner said.

--IANS

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