Jude Bellingham

Jude Bellingham Tells His Teammate Toni Kroos ‘One Year Was Not Enough’ in Emotional Tribute Post-Retirement

Jude Bellingham regrets not spending more time playing with Toni Kroos at Real Madrid after the veteran midfielder announced his decision to retire. The 29-cap England international arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu last summer, meaning he’ll have spent just a year with the German icon.

The duo have played a key role in Madrid’s success this season, dethroning El Clasico rivals Barcelona to become La Liga champions. Los Blancos also beat the Blaugrana 4-1 in the Supercopa de Espana final (January 14). Kroos could get the perfect send-off when Carlo Ancelotti’s men travel to Wembley for the UEFA Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund (June 1).

Jude Bellingham has shone this season and connected with Kroos both on and off the pitch. Two of his 23 goals netted this season have been assisted by the 108-cap Germany international. The 20-year-old took to Instagram and expressed his regret in seeing Kroos retire:

“One year was not enough. Thank you for everything you have given to the game, it’s been an absolute pleasure to enjoy your football and personality as a fan and even more so as a teammate. Still some more work to do this season but wish you all the best for whatever is next for you and your family. LEGEND!”

Toni Kroos, 34, has spent 12 years at Real Madrid after arriving in July 2014 from Bayern Munich for €25 million, which is a bargain given his contributions over the years. He’s made 463 appearances, winning 22 major trophies, including five Champions League winners’ medals and four La Liga titles.

The 2014 FIFA World Cup winner’s decision comes just ahead of the Champions League final, where Madrid faces Borussia Dortmund on June 1 at Wembley. He’ll be hoping to see out his club career in style by winning the European title for the sixth time.

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti reportedly views Jude Bellingham as Toni Kroos’ heir

Carlo Ancelotti will need to work out how to replace Toni Kroos, given how important he’s been under his second tenure. The German playmaker has flourished this season with one goal and nine assists in 46 games across competitions.

According to Marca, Ancelotti views Jude Bellingham as Kroos’ replacement heading into next season. The 2023 Golden Boy winner has been deployed as a No. 10 this season but looks set to drop back into midfield. This will accommodate the arrival of Kylian Mbappe who is headed to the Bernabeu now that his contract with Paris Saint-Germain has expired.

Jude Bellingham has earned plaudits for his goalscoring prowess but he’s also caught the eye with his positional awareness and composure on the ball. His potential midfield predecessor Kroos alluded to his maturity when speaking glowingly of the former Borussia Dortmund star earlier this season (via GOAL):

 “I have a very good feeling about him because I think he’s incredibly mature for his age- not just mentally, that he’s already very far, but also with the way he plays football. 

Bellingham won’t be unfamiliar with a midfield role, as he spent the majority of his spell at Dortmund in the position. His rise at then-EFL Championship outfit Birmingham City came as a central midfielder, with the Blues retiring his jersey when he departed.

Also Read:

Next matches