Germany Mesut Ozil South Korea World Cup

Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil slams German DFB/confirms international retirement due to ‘racism and disrespect’

German midfielder Mesut Ozil has this evening confirmed his retirement from international football, in a scathing statement on his official Twitter page.

Mounting tensions

29-year-old Arsenal star Ozil appeared a total of 92 times for his country since 2009, playing a starring role in Die Mannschaft’s successes over the last 9 years and proving pivotal in Germany’s World Cup triumph in 2014.

However, while many in his home country view Ozil as something of an international legend, the former Real Madrid man has been singled out for heavy abuse by others in Germany of late.

The controversy surrounding Ozil first came to the fore ahead of the World Cup, when he and Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, both of Turkish ancestry, posed for a photo with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the (controversial) president of Turkey.

As was heavily covered in the media, there was an immediate outcry from the German public, with the likes of Oliver Bierhoff and Ottmar Hitzfeld having even called for both Ozil and Gundogan to be omitted from the country’s World Cup squad this summer.

In the end, both players were included by manager Joachim Löw, though.

Singled out

But, in one of the biggest shocks in the recent history of international football, Die Mannschaft were subsequently ousted from the World Cup in the group stage, despite having headed into the tournament as one of the clear favourites to go all the way.

Germany World Cup Korea

KAZAN, RUSSIA – JUNE 27: Germany players react after a missed chance during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group F match between Korea Republic and Germany at Kazan Arena on June 27, 2018 in Kazan, Russia. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Joshua Kimmich; Mats Hummels; Thomas Mueller; Mario Gomez; Hyeonwoo Jo

Ozil was singled out for particularly harsh criticism in the aftermath of the now-former world champions’ elimination, with his ineffective, sub-standard displays, added to by the aforementioned controversy involving Recep Erdogan, having seen the Arsenal midfielder effectively used as a scapegoat for everything wrong with the German squad in Russia this summer.

In truth, there were some vile insults aimed in the Schalke youth product’s direction,with both the German media and Football Association of the national team having taken aim at Ozil.

Retirement

As such, in response, the gifted midfielder has today taken to Twitter, to post a 3-part series of Tweets over the course of the day, eventually leading to him confirming his retirement from international football.

The first post surrounds his meeting with Erdogan, with Ozil again reiterating that there was absolutely no political agenda in his mind when posing for a photo with the Turkish president:

Next came a criticism of how the media and his personal sponsors dealt with the meeting between he and Erdogan:

And, finally, a short time ago, Ozil confirmed that he will not again be lining out in the colours of Die Mannschaft, citing a ‘feeling of racism and disrespect’ as the reasoning behind his decision, as well as taking aim at DFB president Reinhard Grindel in a ruthless (and many would argue deserved) attack:

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