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Toni Kroos is returning to the international game ahead of this summer's European Championships on home soil in Germany. The Real Madrid midfielder announced the decision on Thursday, posting on Instagram that he had been asked to end his de facto retirement by Julian Nagelsmann.

Kroos is set to return to the German setup for next month's friendlies against France and the Netherlands, currently the final fixtures for Nagelsmann to assess his options before naming his squad by June 7. The 34-year-old has not played an international game since Euro 2020, after which he bowed out on 106 caps to focus on his club career.

"I'll be playing for Germany again from March. Why? Because I was asked by the coach and I'm up for it," Kroos said in an Instagram post. "I'm sure that much more is possible with the team at the European Championship than most people think right now."

Kroos' return will certainly offer an almighty boost to Nagelsmann, appointed less than nine months before Die Mannschaft kick off their tournament following a disastrous run of results under his predecessor Hansi Flick. Germany might be ranked among the top five favorites to win the tournament but there seems to be precious little optimism around the nation that they can celebrate the 50th anniversary of their World Cup win with another triumph on home soil.

The presence of 2014 World Cup winner Kroos will certainly aid in that endeavor. Even in his mid-30s, the deep-lying playmaker is enjoying one of his best seasons in Real Madrid colors. This decision will doubtless draw much interest at the Santiago Bernabeu, where Kroos has an open offer to extend a contract that expires at the end of the season.

Equally, if Nagelsmann needs deeper options in any position, it is perhaps not central midfield. There he can choose from the likes of captain Ilkay Gundogan, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka and Pascal Gross, one of the few players to emerge from international duty with much credit in recent months. Adding Kroos to that mix gives the Germany boss luxury problems but does little to ease the problems for a squad who has consistently looked light on options at fullback and center forward.

There will not be long to solve those issues. The hosts' tournament kicks off on June 7 in Munich where they face Scotland before further games against Hungary and Switzerland. Nagelsmann's side will certainly be favorites to escape Group A but it will be eight years since they last won a knockout game, a penalty shootout against Italy in which Kroos scored. Germany will dearly be hoping that the return of an icon of happier times sets the stage for an impressive run in the summer.