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Mesut Özil retires from German national team

Mesut Özil during a German national team press conference.

After much controversy and being quiet for weeks, 2014 FIFA World Cup winner Mesut Özil explained himself on social media on Sunday and retired from Germany’s „Die Mannschaft“.

29 year old Turkish-origin Gelsenkirchen-born Mesut Özil has mostly allowed his football to do the talking besides showing his life through social media and being one of the best footballers of his generation. But there is the other side of Özil, the shy guy who somehow could never really connect to football fans in Germany despite his already mentioned incredible talent.

And the relationship broke down when Özil met Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is regarded as a despotic ruler with no regards for democracy or the media, in London before the 2018 FIFA World Cup in May. He did not think it was appropriate before the tournament to explain his stand, which was seen as one of the reasons why Germany failed for the first-time in its FIFA World Cup history to qualify for the knockout stage.

Özil was singled out as the culprit in Germany’s disaster by the media, fans and even some of the officials of the German FA (DFB Deutscher Fußball-Bund), which if one is honest, is anything but correct as the failure was that of the whole team.

But where I feel Özil is wrong that he in his long post does not differentiate between the post of Turkish president and Erdogan as a controversial head of state.

Özil has represented Germany in 92 internationals, scoring 23 goals and winning the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2009 UEFA Under-21 European Championships, but that career seems to be over and a lot of questions remain.

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