“They don’t like me there so much” - Real Madrid star Toni Kroos jokes about potential Saudi transfer after retirement announcement

Real Madrid CF v Real Betis - LaLiga EA Sports
Real Madrid CF v Real Betis - LaLiga EA Sports

Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos has joked about the Saudi Pro League not liking him much ahead of his team's UEFA Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund on Saturday, June 1. The German midfielder announced his retirement from the game after the end of the season.

Kroos will join the German national team for one last tournament - the Euro 2024 -after the Champions League final. Kroos will bring down the curtains on his career after the Euros, a move that has surprised quite a few people on the football grid.

The German midfielder turned 34 this year. While several other players around his age continue to play football outside Europe, Kroos has decided to hang up his boots.

Multiple footballers have joined cash-rich divisions like the Saudi Pro League to extend their career but Kroos has taken a different path.

Speaking about possibly playing in the Saudi Pro League despite announcing his retirement, Kroos jokingly replied (via Madrid Xtra on X):

“Saudi Arabia or playing abroad? They don't like me there so much (laughs), but like I said before, I will miss the football the most.”

Real Madrid's Toni Kroos has previously critiqued the Saudi Pro League

The Saudi Pro League made a substantial statement in the transfer window last summer by signing several top players from European clubs. They are reportedly providing significantly higher salaries, which has appealed to many.

Kroos appeared unimpressed by what he perceived to be the core concept of this development, telling Sports Illustrated last summer (via Marca):

"It is said that the football there is ambitious, but it all revolves around money. In the end, it is a decision for money and against football. It's starting to be difficult for the football we all know and love."

Believing that players in their prime should not join the Saudi Pro League, Kroos suggested:

"Everyone has to make this decision for himself, as Cristiano Ronaldo decided, for example."

Kroos had initially commented on Fabrizio Romano's social media post from last summer reporting that talented midfielder Gabriel Veiga will join Al Ahli with the word:


Toni Kroos has spent 10 seasons at Real Madrid, making a total of 464 appearances for Los Blancos. He will have the opportunity to retire from the club by doing yet another La Liga and Champions League double.

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