Turkish Football News

Loew: Ozil is an outstanding player

Loew feels Mesut Ozil is an outstanding player

Germany’s coach Joachim Loew has thrown his support for Arsenal star Mesut Ozil despite being “snubbed” by his former player.

Germany coach Joachim Loew has broken his silence on the Mesut Ozil saga. The veteran coach said he felt like he was snubbed by Ozil after the midfielder abruptly retired from international duty, but he also praised his former player.

“We experienced a lot together. We won the World Cup together (in 2014). That remains forever,” Loew said. “He is an outstanding footballer. There will be a discussion at some point. But I would have wished he would have contacted me personally to talk about some things.”

The 2014 world champions were left humiliated after they were condemned to their earliest World Cup exit in 80 years. They crashed out following the group stages having lost two of their three matches. Ozil announced his international retirement shortly after returning from the tournament in Russia after being harshly criticized for posing alongside Turkish President Recep Erdogan in a photograph that also featured Germany teammate İlkay Gundogan in May.

Ozil, a member of the triumphant 2014 team, said he had faced “racism and disrespect” because of his Turkish roots. Loew said on Wednesday he had failed in his attempts to contact the Arsenal midfielder and that he had been notified of Ozil’s international retirement by the player’s adviser.

“The player has not called me. Mesut decided on a different path. I repeatedly tried reaching him via message or phone but that was not possible. I have to accept that,” he said.

Ozil and Germany teammate Gundogan, who was called up for their Nations League game against world champions France on Sept. 6 and Peru on Sept. 9, were jeered by German fans in the warm-up games before the World Cup in Russia. Mesut said after the tournament German Football Association (DFB) President Reinhard Grindel had blamed him for the country’s poor performance. Loew also rejected the player’s racism claims while announcing his squad to face world champions France in Munich on Sept. 6, then Peru three days later. Following Germany’s World Cup debacle, finishing at the bottom of their group, Loew announced on Wednesday that assistant coach Thomas Schneider had been demoted to chief scout.

The ax has also fallen on Sami Khedira, 31, who was part of the team that won the 2014 World Cup. The Juventus midfielder is the biggest name casualty in the new squad, which included Gundogan, as well as his Manchester City teammate Leroy Sane, who was dropped for the World Cup.

Loew’s new squad has a mix of “experience and youth” with his 2014 World Cup winning stars Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng, Tony Kroos, Thomas Mueller and Manuel Neuer included despite below-par performances in Russia. Paris Saint-Germain center-back Thilo Kehrer, 21, Hoffenheim left-back Nico Schulz, 25, and Bayer Leverkusen forward Kai Havertz, 19, are called up for the first time. In May, Loew signed a four-year deal to take him through to the next World Cup, but admits Germany’s woeful performance in Russia puts him under huge pressure to turn things around, starting against world champions France.

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