Real Madrid star Toni Kroos said he is planning to retire at the LaLiga champions.
Kroos has enjoyed great success since joining Madrid from Bundesliga powerhouse Bayern Munich in 2014, winning three Champions League trophies and two LaLiga titles among 13 honours.
The 31-year-old midfielder has made 309 appearances for Madrid across all competitions – the most by a German player at the Santiago Bernabeu, surpassing Uli Stielike.
Reflecting on the feat, Kroos – who has scored 21 goals since moving to the Spanish capital – told Real Madrid TV: “It’s something special. When you look at the Germans who have played here you realise that they are big names: [Gunter] Netzer, [Bernd] Schuster or Stielike.
“Overtaking Stielike, who is a club legend, makes me really happy. It’s a special record and I’m delighted to get to this point.
“As I’ve always said, my idea is to retire here and that’s what I’m going to try to do.”
@ToniKroos: “Becoming the German with the most appearances is special and I’m delighted.”
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) March 5, 2021
Kroos has scored two goals and supplied six assists in 22 LaLiga appearances this season, while he has made 31 appearances across all competitions.
Madrid are third in LaLiga, five points adrift of neighbours and leaders Atletico Madrid ahead of Sunday’s derby.
Zinedine Zidane’s Madrid have not lost any of their three games at the Wanda Metropolitano in LaLiga (W1 D2), and remain the only team to have played in the new Atletico venue without losing in the league.
Zidane is unbeaten in his three away LaLiga fixtures against Atletico as a head coach (W1 D2) and could become the second Madrid boss to avoid defeat in his first four away derbies versus Rojiblancos in the history of the competition, after Luis Molowny in 1986 (W3 D1).
“I try to give my best in every game and every pass I make that doesn’t reach my team-mate annoys me,” Kroos added.
“I try to strive for perfection in this sense, although you can never be perfect.
“I practice it and I’ve been working on it continuously for many years.”