Mesut Ozil’s father, Mustafa, has questioned his son’s shock decision to retire from International football in 2018, claiming that the former Arsenal star ‘is being used’, before slamming his agent Erkut Sogut for allowing him to resign.
The midfielder announced on social media back in 2018 that he would be resigning from the German national side, amid allegations of ‘racisim and disrespect’ while also adding that he was made a ‘scapegoat’ following their group-stage exit at the World Cup that year.
The 35-year-old continued to play for Arsenal before going on to enjoy spells at Fenerbache and Basakeshir, announcing in March that he would be retiring from football completely.
But reflecting on his son’s decision to end his international career, his father claimed he wished he could turn back time, admitting his ‘disappointment’ at how the midfielder’s career ended.
‘If I had a magic wand, I would turn the wheel back,’ Ozil senior said in an interview with Bild. ‘Mesut’s career couldn’t end like this. I still don’t accept it to this day. I am sad and disappointed. It hurts me.’
Mesut Ozil’s father has spoken out on his shock decision to retire from international football in 2018
Mustafa Ozil claimed that he was ‘disappointed’ and ‘hurt’ at how his son’s international career ended
Ozil senior also slammed his son’s agent Erkut Sogut (pictured) questioning ‘how could he allow such a resignation?’
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After winning 92 caps while returning 23 goals for his national side, Ozil’s decision to quit the national side came as a big surprise.
In a statement released with his announcement, Ozil wrote: ‘With a heavy heart and after much consideration, because of recent events, I will no longer play for Germany at international level as long as I feel this feeling of racism and disrespect.’
He added: ”I will no longer be playing for Germany at international level whilst 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.’
He enjoyed an illustrious playing career, scoring 44 times across 254 appearances with Arsenal, while also making 159 appearances for Real Madrid, notably helping to guide the Galacticos to the Spanish league title in 2012.
But his father, Mustafa was skeptical that his son had made such statements during his retirement, adding that he believed the former Germany international had been ‘taken advantage of’.
‘Mesut was influenced by his environment. That wasn’t good for him. You can’t say that Germany is xenophobic, that the country where he was born wouldn’t have given him a chance. Such statements do not come from him, that is not him. Honestly: I have the feeling that Mesut was also taken advantage of.’
‘I think he is being used to a certain extent,’ repeats Mustafa Özil. And appeals: ‘But you shouldn’t read too much into it. Nevertheless, as a father, I wish that he would simply leave out social media messages about his origins, religion and politics. He’s an athlete.’
In October, Mesut Ozil had shown his support for Palestine amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.
He posted on X (formerly Twitter) asking for an end to the war, stating ‘praying for humanity. Praying for peace’ before adding a Palestine flag.
His dad also turned on his son’s agent, Sogut, the founder of sports representation agency ‘GROW’, claiming his resignation should not have happened.
Ozil enjoyed an excellent playing career, notably amassing 254 appearances for Arsenal
He also helped guide Germany to World Cup glory in 2014 before announcing his retirement in 2019
Ozil hit out at ‘racism and disrespect’ that he had been subjected to following his retirement from International football
In March, he also announced he would be ending his career entirely, having enjoyed spells with Fenerbache and Basaksehir since leaving Arsenal in 2021
‘Mesut was looked after by Erkut Sögüt at the time. So I ask myself: How can you allow such a resignation? Mesut was voted National Player of the Year five times by fans. He received the Bambi for successful integration.
‘These are great awards, a great appreciation for his achievements. And then such an exit? This should never have happened! As an advisor, I have to act differently because he has a responsibility towards his player.’
While Ozil junior has been out of football for the past seven months, it was reported in September that was ‘in contention to become the Turkish National side’s general manager’.
But his father hoped that his son would one day reconcile his differences with the German Football Association and take up an advisory role or coaching position within the organisation.
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