Low unimpressed by Kroos retirement speculation

By Sports Desk March 30, 2021

Germany head coach Joachim Low has batted away talk of "world-class" Toni Kroos retiring from international football after this year's European Championship.

Real Madrid midfielder Kroos withdrew from the Germany squad at the start of last week, ahead of their opening World Cup qualifying fixtures.

Low's side claimed maximum points from their first two Group J games against Iceland and Romania and will expect to make it a hat-trick of triumphs when North Macedonia visit Duisburg on Wednesday.

Kroos is Die Mannschaft's most-capped active player – and joint 10th overall – having featured 101 times since his Germany debut in 2010.

His last appearance was in November's humiliating 6-0 Nations League defeat to Spain, although he did emerge with some credit.

Kroos enjoyed a pass completion rate of 97.7 per cent – the highest of any starting player across both sides – while no German starter lost possession fewer times than him (four).

Reports have circulated recently that 31-year-old Kroos is ready to call time on his international career after the rearranged Euro 2020 finals, but Low is not ready to write off the midfielder just yet.

"It's a media issue," Low told a media conference. "Toni is a world-class player with an enormous wealth of experience. We won't start to doubt his quality now."

Low also hailed the "step forward" made by Leroy Sane over the past week.

The Bayern Munich forward made three key passes against Romania – matched only by Serge Gnabry for Germany – and won 11 of his 12 duels.

Low was particularly impressed with the 25-year-old's defensive contributions.

"In the last two games Leroy had extremely good moments in defence," Low said. "He won four or five balls against Romania and some against Iceland.

"You haven't seen that before. He made a clear step forward."

Germany are red-hot favourites to progress to Qatar 2022 as Group J winners, but Low has warned his players against complacency when they host North Macedonia.

"I have the feeling that North Macedonia have rolled up their sleeves", said Low, who will step down from his position at the end of Euro 2020. "They are no worse than Romania. It will be a real show of strength.

"We're not taking anything for granted. North Macedonia are shrewd opponents. It will be another tricky task to come away with all three points."

Related items

  • MLS salaries revealed: Xherdan Shaqiri tops list of big earners with bumper Chicago Fire deal MLS salaries revealed: Xherdan Shaqiri tops list of big earners with bumper Chicago Fire deal

    While his old club Liverpool battle to finish in first place in the Premier League, Xherdan Shaqiri is top of the money tree in Major League Soccer with the Chicago Fire.

    Switzerland international Shaqiri is the highest-earning player in the US-centred top flight, new figures released on Tuesday by the MLS Players' Association (MLSPA) revealed.

    The 30-year-old is on a base annual salary of $7.35million, with guaranteed compensation of $8.15million.

    Shaqiri left Liverpool at the end of last season to join French club Lyon, but he spent less than six months in Ligue 1 before being signed as a designated player by Chicago in February.

    He became the Fire's most expensive acquisition, reportedly costing €6.5million ($7.5million), and was described by Chicago sporting director Georg Heitz as "a game-changing player".

    The club's new number 10 has scored two goals and had three assists in nine games to date for Chicago.

    On the money list, he sits ahead of LA Galaxy's former Manchester United and Real Madrid forward Javier Hernandez ($6million base salary) and Inter Miami's Gonzalo Higuain ($5.1million), another Madrid old boy.

    Top five highest base salary earners in MLS, according to MLSPA (players under contract on April 15 2022):

    1. Xherdan Shaqiri, Chicago Fire, $7.35million ($8.15million guaranteed compensation)
    2. Javier Hernandez, LA Galaxy, $6million ($6million guaranteed)
    3. Gonzalo Higuain, Inter Miami, $5.1million ($5.79million guaranteed)
    4. Alejandro Pozuelo, Toronto FC, $3.8million ($4.69million guaranteed)
    5. Josef Martinez, Atlanta United, $3.7million ($4.14million guaranteed)

  • 'I didn't need that kind of toxicity' - Departing Reggae Girlz coach Blaine insists there was no way forward with team 'I didn't need that kind of toxicity' - Departing Reggae Girlz coach Blaine insists there was no way forward with team

    Departing Jamaica Reggae Girlz coach, Vin Blaine, has insisted the toxic environment surrounding his tenure with the national team had left the situation untenable.

    Blaine brought an end to a weeks-long saga yesterday when he announced that he would officially resign as coach of the team, following a dispute with some senior members of the Reggae Girlz.

    The players in question wrote a letter of no confidence, to the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), signed by 19 members, which suggested the coach lacked detailed training sessions, did not provide video analysis, had issues with set pieces, and provided no post-match reviews for player improvement.

     A review of the situation by the JFF technical committee, however, cleared the coach of any wrongdoing and recommended Blaine stay in the post.  From his perspective, however, making that decision would not have been in anyone’s best interest. 

    “Based on the situation, if everyone knew the entire process I went through; It was a toxic environment,” Blaine told the SportsMax Zone.

     “Sad to say from day one or two, in the program, you had staff undermining the program, the previous staff.  You had players telling you who should be the equipment person, who should be the fitness coach, those are things that went on,” he added.

    “I came out with a smile on my face because it’s not for me to disclose those things in a training camp.  So, I don’t think I could move forward although the federation said they were clearing me for that.  For the program to go forward and for my own peace of mind, I did not need that kind of toxicity.”

  • Yorke lands coaching job with Australia A-League club Macarthur Yorke lands coaching job with Australia A-League club Macarthur

    Former Trinidad and Tobago international and Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke has landed a coaching role with Australia A-League (ASL) club Macarthur FC.

    The journey to such a position has been a long and arduous one for the 50-year-old who has in years gone by often complained of a lack of diversity in English football.  According to Yorke, despite the recommendation of legendary coach Sir Alex Ferguson he struggled to even land interviews.  The ormer top marksman has, however, finally gotten his chance.

    The Trinidadian has, however, served football in other capacities, taking a role with the Trinidad and Tobago national team, as an assistant coach, in 2009, after retiring from the sport.

    Yorke, who was also an advisor within the Manchester United youth set-up, also interviewed for a job with Sutton United but was not selected to coach the National League club.  The former player was also thought to have been in contention for the Aston Villa job earlier this season but the team opted for former Liverpool player Steven Gerrard.

    He has, reportedly, agreed to a two-year contract with Macarthur, which is based in Southwestern Sydney.  Another Caribbean international, Adrian Marriapa, who represents Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz, is a part of the squad having joined the team last season.

     

     

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.