Mesut Ozil announced his retirement from international football on Sunday following condemnations from German football officials a photo and his performance at the World Cup.
He appeared in a photo with Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyib Erdogan and teammate, Ilkay Erdogan just before the Russia 2018 World Cup.
The photo sparked criticism and outrage from German football Association boss and other football officials who think it was inappropriate for the Turkey-born Arsenal star to meet Erdogan, his native country’s president.
Politician, Bernd Holzhauer and German Theatre Chief, Werner Steer, were part of the critics: Holzhauer was alleged to have called him a “goat-f***er” while Steer suggested he “p*** back to Anatolia.”
German national team manager, Oliver Bierhoff believes Ozil should have addressed Germans at the appearance of the photo
“It’s true that Mesut has not commented yet, which has disappointed many fans because they have questions and expect an answer, and they rightly expect that answer.”
Bierhoff submits that he could have also been left out of the team for the World Cup.
“We never forced any player of the national team to do something, but we always tried to convince them.
“We haven’t succeeded with Mesut. That’s why we should have thought about leaving him out from a sporting point of view.”
The player’s father, Mustafa, spoke out against Bierhoff and other critics, urging his son to call it quits with the national team.
“[Ozil] no longer wants to explain himself, he no longer wants to have to defend himself all the time.
“He has been playing for nine years in the German team… including becoming world champions. He has contributed a lot for this country. It has always been: if we win, we win together.
“But when we lose, we lose because of Ozil? He is now getting whistled at and made a scapegoat. I can understand if he feels insulted.
“He needs to decide for himself. But if I were in his place, I’d say ‘thanks a lot but that’s it!’ The hurt has grown too strong. And who knows what’ll happen at the next match.
“In Mesut’s place, I would step down. But that’s just my very personal opinion.”
Ozil, in a lengthy statement on Sunday, while responding to the criticisms declared that he “no longer want to wear the German national team shirt,” due to “treatment he received from the DFB.”
“The past couple of weeks have given me time to reflect, and time to think over the events of the last few months,” he wrote.
“Consequently, I want to share my thoughts and feelings about what has happened.
“Like many people, my ancestry traces back to more than one country. Whilst I grew up in Germany, my family background has its roots firmly based in Turkey. I have two hears, one German and one Turkish.”
He added: “I now feel unwanted and think that what I have achieved since my international debut in 2009 has been forgotten.”