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Nagelsmann praises Madrid, encourages Dortmund after final

Real Madrid's Jude Bellingham  celebrates with the trophy after winning the UEFA Champions League final soccer match against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium. Tom Weller/dpa

Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann congratulated Real Madrid for their Champions League title and sent words of encouragement to runners-up Borussia Dortmund as he's looking forward to welcome players from both sides in the Euro 2024 training camp.

"Congratulations to Toni Kroos and Antonio Rüdiger for winning the Champions League. Retiring from club football with a sixth title in the top competition is unique and a worthy farewell for an exceptional player like Toni Kroos," Nagelsmann said.

Madrid defeated Dortmund 2-0 on Saturday to claim a record-extending 15th title in the top competition.

Kroos, who in March made his comeback to the national team, is to retire after the Euros on home sole on June 14-July 14.

"I'm looking forward to working hard with the whole team from Tuesday onwards to ensure that he gets the farewell he deserves with the national team at the Euros at home," Nagelsmann said.

Rüdiger and Kroos as well as Dortmund duo of Niclas Füllkrug and Nico Schlotterbeck are to join the Germany squad at their Euro 2024 headquarters in Herzogenaurach on Monday.

The quartet won't be available for the friendly match against Ukraine on the same day, but are expected to play the final tune-up game against Greece on June 7.

Nagelsmann said that Füllkrug and Schlotterbeck "can still be proud of an inspiring performance, not just at Wembley."

Germany Football Federation (DFB) sporting director Rudi Völler also praised Dortmund's performance in the Champions League.

"It's a shame for German football that Borussia Dortmund were unable to take the final step towards the Champions League title at Wembley. But they were rightly in the final and can be proud of an inspiring international journey," he said.

Dortmund reached the final against Madrid despite a disappointing league season, in which they finished fifth.

DFB president Bernd Neuendorf added: "Coach Edin Terzic's team exemplifies virtues without which football would be far less important: team spirit, passion and enjoyment of playing."

"Borussia Dortmund can be proud of this Champions League season. Even the defeat in the final against Real Madrid does not change that," he said.

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti celebrates with the trophy after winning the UEFA Champions League final soccer match against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium. Robert Michael/dpa
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti celebrates with the trophy after winning the UEFA Champions League final soccer match against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium. Robert Michael/dpa
Dortmund coach Edin Terzic applauds after the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid at Wembley Stadium. Tom Weller/dpa
Dortmund coach Edin Terzic applauds after the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid at Wembley Stadium. Tom Weller/dpa
Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann (R) and assistant coach Sandro Wagner at training in preparation for the EURO 2024 European Championship. Christian Charisius/dpa
Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann (R) and assistant coach Sandro Wagner at training in preparation for the EURO 2024 European Championship. Christian Charisius/dpa