Naive or scheming - Ozil's agent slams Kroos, Neuer and Muller
Sep 18 2018 - 12:05
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.
Amid the fallout from his retirement, Muller, Neuer and Kroos dismissed the notion of there being any racism within the Germany setup.
Real Madrid midfielder Kroos told Bild valid points within Ozil's retirement statement were outweighed by "the much higher proportion of nonsense".
"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."
Sogut went on to highlight that Ozil never made any allegations of direct racism within Joachim Low's squad.
"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."