With Germany's premature exit from the World Cup this summer one player took the brunt of the flak for Die Mannschaft's exit. That man was invariably Mesut Ozil, with the Arsenal midfielder already under criticism after the he posed for a picture with controversial Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Ozil eventually announced his retirement from the national team citing racism and disrespect from within the German FA stating "in the eyes of (German FA President Reinhard) Grindel and his supporters I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose."
But in the wake of Ozil's claims of xenophobia former team mate Toni Kroos has come out in criticism of his former team mate.
Speaking to Bild newspaper, the Real Madrid player admitted some of the criticism of Ozil was unfair, but was critical of the manner in which he retired from international football and called the midfielder's claims of racism within the German FA 'nonsense':
Basically Mesut is a deserved international and as a player he deserved a better departure. But the way he resigned was not in order.
The parts in his statement that are rightly addressed are unfortunately overshadowed by the significantly higher amount of nonsense. I think he knows very well that racism within the national team and the DFB does not exist.
As for his own international future, 28-year-old Kroos said that he will continue to make himself available for selection following talks with manager Joachim Loew:
I will continue towards Euro 2020 and have set myself the goal of being far more successful there than in the recent past.I had a good talk with Joachim Loew.
We will find solutions together so that I can get a break here and there. For me that's the only way and I am thankful for Jogi's understanding.