Mesut Özil has announced his retirement from international football with an immediate effect. The 29-year-old has earned 92 caps for the national team, winning the World Cup in 2014.
The Arsenal midfielder’s decision follows a series of critics in Germany after he had his picture taken with with president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan just two weeks before the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Germany had a shocking World Cup, leaving the tournament after the group stages. Ozil was then singled out by critics.
After the tournament Germany’s team manager Olivier Bierhoff stated Ozil should have been dropped from the squad, while German FA (DFB) President Reinhard Grindel demanded a public excuse.
In a long post on Instagram, Ozil then explained the picture with Erdogan, in which the midfielder criticised the German media and the DFB’s handling of the situation, before going on to confirm he would be retiring from the national team.