Toni and Felix Kroos: This is how the brothers experienced the start of the European Championship

Toni and Felix Kroos: This is how the brothers experienced the start of the European Championship
Toni and Felix Kroos: This is how the brothers experienced the start of the European Championship

Toni and Felix Kroos talk in a double interview about the start of the European Championship and their future away from the football stage.

“It was a very good start with a very early goal, just as we had hoped for in the opening game,” said a delighted Toni Kroos (34) after the 5-1 triumph over Scotland in the DFB team’s first group game. His brother Felix Kroos (33) is already dreaming of the final. “I’m predicting a final between Portugal and Germany.” The two brothers are working as European Championship ambassadors for Coca-Cola and in a double interview they talk about the home European Championship, Toni’s departure, the future away from the football pitch and special fan experiences.

Last Friday it finally started: the European Championship in our own country – with a 5:1 win in the opening game! Toni and Felix – how was it for you?

Toni Kroos: It was a very good start with a very early goal, just as we had hoped for in the opening game. We got into the game very quickly and you could say it was fun. Of course, you have to be honest and admit that the Scots weren’t having their best day. They weren’t as compact as we expected, nor did they attack as aggressively up front. We were able to switch sides relatively freely, and were able to combine relatively freely through the midfield. That was good for us to gain confidence. It was important to get off to a good start, and it was good that players who were and are expected to do a lot for the entire tournament scored. Nevertheless, it was ultimately nothing more and nothing less than a must-win.

Felix Kroos: It was amazing. I was out and about hours before kick-off, taking part in the Coca-Cola fan experience in the fan zone. I dare say that I fulfilled more photo requests from Scottish and German fans than you later played successful passes… just kidding! It was a real success all round. So many happy people celebrating. I was even asked to paint German flags on fans’ cheeks. If we can maintain this mood or even improve it, it will be a great tournament. So I hope that you continue to play yourselves into a frenzy.

Toni, the European Championship title is one of the few trophies that is still missing from your impressive collection. How keen are you to win the European Championship?

Toni: When I’m on the pitch, whether barefoot at home or somewhere else, I’m competing to win. Of course, our goal is to win this trophy. But we’re not the favorites, and our successful start hasn’t changed that, nor can we promise anything. Apart from maximum enthusiasm and passion, with which we will compete and try everything to inspire ourselves and Germany. We’ll see how that leads.

Felix: I’m predicting a final between Portugal and Germany.

How difficult do you think it will be for you to finally hang up your football boots after the European Championships?

Felix: We recorded the special podcast episode about the end of his career on May 20th, one day before it was officially announced. That was the first time I heard Toni say the sentence “It’s over in the summer”. And I could hear in his voice and see how difficult it was for him. Your voice never shakes. But it was different then.

Toni: It’s also something completely different to think that sentence and say it out loud and in public for the first time. As crazy as it sounds, I got goosebumps when I said it. But at the time I knew that there were still two games left with Real – and the whole European Championship ahead of me. So I do think I’ll miss football, but I’m also looking forward to the time of self-determination. And I’m incredibly happy that I’ve already set up and started projects that I’m really looking forward to – so I’m looking forward to the time without football. But first of all I need to enjoy the remaining weeks and have fun – and go into the European Championship with the same ambition as I did in the last few weeks at Real Madrid, namely with the conviction that I want to be as successful as possible.

Toni, can you imagine a career as a coach? What does your future look like after your active career?

Toni: No! I don’t plan on becoming a coach. At least not in the professional adult sector. But with the Toni Kroos Academy in Madrid, I will work with young players every day and help wherever I can. We have also been running important projects with the Toni Kroos Foundation for years and have already been able to help many families. My wife is also incredibly involved and we will continue to focus on that very intensively. Our podcast will continue and we have prepared a big project with the Icon League, which starts in September, which I am very excited about. Felix will also be putting together a team with Robert Andrich.

Felix, you ended your football career in 2021. Do you sometimes miss being on the pitch yourself?

Felix: The day after Toni’s last game in Madrid, we played football on a small pitch in his garden. Stefan Reinartz, who used to be a professional at Leverkusen, was there, Toni played barefoot and then Axel, Jessy’s stepfather. We played together against the children. These moments on the pitch are enough for me. I don’t have the energy for more. Otherwise, I’m pretty busy. During the European Championships, I’ll be an expert on RTL, our podcast “Einfach mal Luppen” is in full swing and I’m also working as an ambassador for the European Championships. There are lots of really cool activities that I’m planning with Coca-Cola: for example, we’ll experience special moments together with fans and athletes from Special Olympics Germany, I’ll show them corners of the stadium that they’ve probably never seen before.

Speaking of fans: Toni, is there a fan moment that you particularly remember in your long career?

Toni: There is a Real Madrid fan who once promised to give me a bottle of wine for every goal…

Felix: You neither drink wine nor score goals.

28 goals and 99 assists in 435 games for Real Madrid …

Toni: It didn’t turn out to be that many bottles. But at one point the fan actually stood at Valdedebas, Real’s training center, and gave me a case of white wine. I actually found buyers who thought it was delicious.

A few weeks ago, in your last game for Real Madrid, you won the Champions League for the sixth time. A few days before, you celebrated an emotional farewell at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. What moment will you never forget?

Toni: It’s incredibly difficult to reduce it to a single moment and it doesn’t do the farewell justice. Carlo Ancelotti substituted me three minutes before the end. The way the Bernabéu said goodbye to me that evening was simply magnificent. I would have to single out every single teammate and member of staff because it was just so thrilling and unique. Doing that lap of honour with my children, standing on the pitch with my wife, those images will stay with me forever.

Felix: We were allowed to be there in the stands first. And then we stood with you on the pitch. It was just so warm, you could just feel the fans and the club’s genuine admiration and huge thanks to you the whole evening – it wasn’t a show, it wasn’t fake or staged. There was love in the air. The evening was actually already perfect. The fact that it was then topped with the victory in London…

Toni: …is almost too kitschy.

Will you and your family now stay in Madrid or will you return to Germany?

Toni: Our children go to school in Madrid. They pursue all their hobbies here. They have their friends here. That’s why, contrary to what we originally planned, we will continue to live in Madrid. We have had roots here for ten years and feel incredibly comfortable.

Source: Stern

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