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Ilkay Gundogan's treatment during Germany vs Saudi Arabia was just sad

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With less than a week to go until the World Cup starts, you'd expect plenty of football fans to be queuing up to put money on Germany.

The reigning champions are still among the favourites, second only to Brazil with a lot of bookmakers, and the fact that the tournament is taking place in their own continent should be an advantage over the Selecao.

However, it's impossible to overlook some of the problems plaguing Joachim Low's side.

On Friday, against Saudi Arabia, their defensive frailties were exposed again and they came close to blowing a two-goal lead, but held on for a relatively unconvincing 2-1 win.

Players like Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller, so crucial to their success in 2014, just haven't been doing the business for the national side of late - the same could be said of the latter's domestic form with Bayern Munich too.

It's easy to see why, prior to last night's game, Die Mannschaft were on a winless run of five games. And then there's the question of team morale.

That is very rarely a problem for Germany going into a World Cup. They are typically well-drilled, disciplined, and determined.

One has to wonder how Ilkay Gundogan is feeling, though, after being booed at the BayArena in Leverkusen.

Gundogan isn't popular 

The Manchester City midfielder came on for Marco Reus and he was met with a hostile reception, booed and jeered every time he touched the ball.

Take a look at some of the footage below:

The former Borussia Dortmund man seems a fairly innocuous fellow, so what's the problem?

Along with Mesut Ozil, the 27-year-old recently met with Turkish president Erdogan Recep Tayyip Erdogan and took a photo with him. Both players are of Turkish descent. 

The DFB weren't happy, its president Reinhard Grindel noting Erdogan's human rights record.

"The DFB of course respects the special situation for our players with migrant backgrounds, but football and the DFB stands for values that Mr. Erdogan does not sufficiently respect," a statement read.

"Therefore, it is not a good thing that our internationals have let themselves be exploited for his election campaign stunt. It certainly hasn’t helped the DFB’s integration efforts.”

It's understandable that the photo initially got the two Premier League players in hot water but equally, the fact that Gundogan has now been booed in successive games is a step too far with the World Cup just days away.

Low was not happy with the supporters.

FBL-FRIENDLY-GER-KSA

"He's a member of the national team," Low said to ARD, per Goal.

"That [booing] doesn't help anyone."

Ozil did not play against Saudi Arabia but he too was on the receiving end of the fans' acid tongues against Austria.

All is not well ahead of Russia 2018, it seems.

Do you think Gundogan should be booed? Have your say in the comments. 

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Topics:
Football
Joachim Low
Ilkay Gundogan
Mesut Özil
Germany Football
World Cup

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