It was a pretty miserable World Cup outing for Mesut Ozil and Germany, as the reigning champions failed to escape the group stages following two lacklustre performances against Mexico and South Korea.
Much of the blame apportioned to Die Mannschaft's early exit has fallen on the shoulders of Ozil, and his father thinks that the Arsenal midfielder should pack it in for his national side.
In an interview with Bild am Sonntag, Mustapha Ozil stated that his son has been offended by all of the criticism, pointing out that the player is used as a scapegoat when Germany do not perform:
If I were in his place, I would say: ‘Thank you, but that’s enough'.
He’s bent, disappointed and offended, yes, offended, his own fans booed him before the World Cup at the international in Austria and he cannot understand why.
He doesn’t always have to defend himself. He’s played in the national team for nine years … and became a world champion.
It’s always said that if we win, we win together, but if we lose, we lose because of Ozil.
He’s booed and put up as a scapegoat – I completely understand that he is offended.
Mesut’s been an example for years. The situation is absurd – he loves Germany and has shown commitment to his country, that he’s presented as a scapegoat is so unfair.
Anti-Ozil sentiment had been bubbling even before the tournament got underway, with the 29-year-old pictured with controversial Turkish politician Recep Tayyip Erdogan, but the player's father argued that the photograph was not tantamount to Ozil's support of Erdogan's regime:
I thought: ‘This isn’t such a good idea.’ But I didn’t think: ‘Uh oh, everything is collapsing now.
It wasn’t the first photo of Mesut with Erdogan, I knew it wasn’t a political statement from him or anything like that.
He had it taken out of politeness. Mesut is a reserved person, almost shy, how could he have turned down a photo if a man like Erdogan asks him?
Mesut is an athlete who wants to play football and has nothing to do with politics, which is why he did not think anything about the picture.
H/T: Bild am Sonntag