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The 29-year-old was criticised after being photographed with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a London event in May. "I see the football player Mesut Ozil, and he didn't perform like before". Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand, capped 81 times by England, laconically tweeted his support for the Arsenal player, with the word "Respect" quoting a tweet of Ozil's statement. Not because of some picture, of of political decision.

Ozil announced his retirement from the German national football team on Sunday citing "discrimination and racism".

Since the World Cup, nobody within the DFB has lost their job and the head coach has been retained, while Ozil has been victimised with the larger problems that led to their Russian failure ignored and brushed aside.

The Arsenal playmaker went on to criticise DFB president Reinhard Grindel and outlined tensions concerning his Turkish heritage and team selection decisions during Russian Federation 2018.

Although Ozil may have found failings with his worldwide team, the player's club side Arsenal were quick to welcome the player back as he reported for training on Tuesday for the first time since the story unfolded.

Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has defended Mesut Ozil
Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has defended Mesut Ozil

Ozil ends his worldwide career with 92 caps, 23 goals and 40 assists, and was also a member of the squad that won the World Cup in 2014.

German football chiefs have yet to respond to Ozil's claims.

Erdogan added: "On Monday night I spoke to Mesut". "We have so many influences from outside Germany and we say, 'Welcome all the world to Germany.' And Mesut was playing the last 10 years in the national team, Sami Khedira was playing a long time in the national team, [Jerome] Boateng, [Serge] Gnabry - so many influences from outside".

Many German politicians questioned Ozil and Gundogan's loyalty to German democratic values.

The players did meet the German FA president to explain the image, although Ozil had not issued a public statement on the matter until Sunday. Ozil has insisted that "it wasn't about politics or elections, it was about me respecting the highest office of my family's country". We had one bed, but they would put a mattress on the floor for me to sleep.

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