The Germany stars came under fire from the Arsenal playmaker’s agent after their comments in the wake of his retirement from the national team
Mesut Ozil’s agent has hit back at Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos for their reaction to his client’s retirement from international duty with Germany.
Ozil stepped down following Die Mannschaft’s shock group-stage elimination at the World Cup, issuing a statement that claimed he has suffered “racism and disrespect”.
The Arsenal playmaker, who is of Turkish descent, was criticised for his decision to meet with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan alongside team-mate Ilkay Gundogan prior to the tournament.
Ozil was disappointed with the Germany Football Federation (DFB)’s handling of the matter, one consequence of which was himself and Gundogan being booed by Germany fans.
Real Madrid midfielder Kroos told Bild valid points within Ozil’s retirement statement were outweighed by “the much higher proportion of nonsense”.
But the Arsenal star’s agent, Erkut Sogut, criticised the Germany trio for taking his words out of context.
“Neuer indirectly accused Mesut of not having worn the German jersey with pride. This is unacceptable,” Erkut Sogut told German magazine 11Freunde.
“Muller did not understand the whole discussion. And Kroos, as a seasoned national team player, should explain what he means by ‘nonsense’.
“Those [observations] were disappointing and out of context. There are only two explanations for these declarations: They are either naive or calculated.”
Coach Joachim Low also weighed in on the matter, saying that Ozil had “clearly overstated his allegations of racism” and also said the player had hurt him on a “human level”.
And Sogut went on to highlight that Ozil never made any allegations of direct racism within Low’s squad.
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“Low defends himself against a claim that has never been made,” he said.
“There was no racism against Mesut within the team, but from the middle of society. And the DFB should have defended him against that.”