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Toni Kroos’ retirement brings back memories of U-17 podium finish with Ransford Osei

Seventeen years after he shared the podium with Ransford Osei, Germany and Real Madrid legend Toni Kroos is set to retire from professional football.

Toni Kroos’ retirement brings back memories of U-17 podium finish with Ransford Osei

The 34-year-old announced on Tuesday that he will officially be hanging his boots after the 2024 European Championships.

Kroos and Osei represented Germany and Ghana, respectively, during the U17 FIFA World Cup in South Korea in 2007.

The Black Starlets were paired in the same group as Germany, with Trinidad and Tobago and Colombia completing Group F.

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Kroos and Osei were both on the score sheet when Ghana lost 3-2 to Germany in their second group game, although both countries advanced to the knockout stages.

Ghana and Germany would meet again in the third/fourth place playoffs – a game that saw Kroos and Osei once again score as the Black Starlets suffered a 2-1 defeat.

In what was an impressive tournament for both players, Kroos won the Golden Ball and the Bronze Boot, while Osei also scooped the Silver Boot, with Nigeria’s Macauley Chrisantus winning the Golden Boot.

However, the aforementioned players have had opposite professional careers. Kroos has since won multiple league titles in Germany and Spain, while also lifting the UEFA Champions League five times.

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With Germany, he also won the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and played every game as Die Mannschaft beat Argentina in the final.

Osei also went on to win the U20 FIFA World Cup two years later, but couldn’t break into the Ghana national team.

His club career also didn’t go according to plan, as he lined up for clubs in Israel, the Netherlands, South Africa and Finland before injuries forced him into retirement at the age of 30.

With Kroos announcing his retirement after a trophy-laden career at club and international level, it has brought memories of his podium finish alongside Osei.

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"My ambition was always to finish my career at the peak of my performance level. I am happy and proud that in my mind I found the right timing for my decision and that I could choose it on my own,” Kroos posted on his Instagram page.

Kroos will be hoping to complete his trophy cabinet by winning the Euros after already lifting the World Cup with Germany. In the immediate, though, the 34-year-old has his sights set on the Champions League final against Borrusia Dortmund.

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