- Ozil calls time on international career
- Midfielder won 92 caps for Germany over nine years
- 2014 World Cup winner retires “with a heavy heart”
Midfielder Mesut Ozil has retired from the German national team after nine years, having pulled on the Mannschaft shirt 92 times during that period.
The Arsenal playmaker announced his decision via social media on Sunday, with the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ winner explaining “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”, having felt he has been on the receiving end of “racism and disrespect”.
The 29-year-old made his debut on 12 August 2009 against Azerbaijan, going on to score 23 goals and play an instrumental role in their World Cup triumph four years ago. His final game for the national team came in the 2-0 defeat to Korea Republic, which saw the side eliminated from Russia 2018 and exit at the group stages for the first time.
Ozil had been criticised for a picture posing with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in May, with the former Real Madrid player remaining silent on the subject until Sunday.