Mesut Ozil retires from Germany after World Cup fallout and backlash from photo with Turkish president Erdogan

Im aware that the picture of us caused a huge response in German media, and whilst some people may accuse me of lying or being deceitful, the picture we took had no political intentions, Ozil wrote on Twitter (you can read). For me, having a picture with President Erdogan wasnt about politics or elections, it was about me respecting the highest office of my familys country.

It is with a heavy heart and after much consideration that because of recent events, I will no longer be playing for Germany at international level whilst I have this feeling of racism and disrespect, he wrote on Twitter. I used to wear the German shirt with such pride and excitement, but now I dont.

Germany has tons of talent to bounce back, especially with up-and-coming stars like Leon Goretzka, but this bad breakup isnt a good look for the Germany federation.

Ozil defended his meeting and the photo that was taken in May when the president was in London where Ozil plays for Arsenal, attending a charity event.

Thats a tough blow for the national team and just sad all around. Some may take a picture like that negatively or not think much of it, but it is evident that the negativity he has received as a result was enough for him to say goodbye. When it comes to the on-field performance, Germany loses a player with top talent, but one that was benched at the 2018 World Cup. Perhaps he sees his chances with the national team dwindling and decided instead to call it quits early.

Ozils parents are both from Turkey, but he was born in Germany and opted to play for his birth country. He was one of the stars of the 2014 side that helped Germany capture its fourth World Cup title. The German FA criticized the player for the meeting, which took place at a charitable event and also featured Manchester City and German midfielder Ilkay Gundongan. That backlash was enough for Ozil to hang up his international boots, which comes shortly after Germany wasshockingly eliminated in the group stage of the 2018 World Cup.

Germany national team star midfielder Mesut Ozil is done representing his country. On Sunday, the 29-year-old announced he was stepping away from the national team, citing racism and backlash after meeting with Turkish president Recep Erdogan.

Roger Gonzalez is an award-winning writer based in Virginia that has covered pro soccer from Europes top clubs to Argentinas first division. Roger started out his pro soccer writing career with …Full Bio

Ozil is hanging up his international boots, citing racism and backlash after meeting with the president of Turkey

Mesut Ozil retires from Germany after World Cup fallout and backlash from photo with Turkish president Erdogan

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