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Mesut Ozil retires from international football citing racism

Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil has decided to call quits on his international career with Germany following the heavy criticism towards him. The 29-year-old’s future with Germany became a public debate after he was controversially pictured alongside Turkish president Recep Erdogan and an average showing at the World Cup thereafter has only increased the verbal attack towards him.

As such, the Gunners ace has decided to end his association with the national team via a statement released on his official Twitter account which read: “The treatment I have received from the DFB and many others makes me no longer want to wear the German national team shirt. I feel unwanted and think what I have achieved since my international debut in 2009 has been forgotten. It is with a heavy heart and after much consideration that because of recent events, I will no longer be playing for Germany while I have this feeling of racism and disrespect. I used to wear the German shirt with such pride and excitement, but now I don’t.”

Ozil was one of the players who was put at fault for Germany’s shock group stage exit at the World Cup and shortly after, general manager Oliver Bierhoff said that he regretted bringing Ozil to the tournament. Amidst this, Ozil had remained mum over the situation but he has now made a rather surprising statement regarding his future.

The news, however, could be considered as a positive for Arsenal, who are now assured of the player’s focus without any international commitments. The German has been on a vacation over the past few weeks but he is expected to join the Gunners’ squad for their pre-season tour of Singapore next week. Arsenal are scheduled to take on Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain in the International Champions Cup during their stay.