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Mesut Ozil explains the reasons why he's retired from international football

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Having won the 2014 World Cup, people in Germany are still trying to figure out exactly what went wrong for their team in Russia this summer.

Joachim Low's men won the 2017 Confederations Cup, but losses to Mexico and South Korea saw them finish bottom of Group F.

As always seems to be the case, Mesut Ozil's performances were examined under a microscope, and it didn't help that Germany won the only game he didn't feature in.

Off the pitch, he was criticised for his actions before the tournament, with Oliver Bierhoff and Ottmar Hitzfeld suggesting he shouldn't even have been allowed to go to the World Cup.

The situation has now come to a head, with Ozil announcing his retirement from international football, and he's explained the reasons why.

What Ozil did before the World Cup

Before the World Cup, German fans and pundits slammed Ozil, who has familial roots in Turkey, for meeting with Turkish president Recep Erdogan.

Pictures of the pair, alongside Germany international Ilkay Gundogan, then surfaced, and on Sunday, Ozil finally opened up about the entire situation.

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At different times during the day, the Arsenal playmaker released three different statements addressing a wide array of subjects, from football to politics.

The first two were mainly centred around how he felt about the German media's reaction to his picture with Erodgan before the World Cup.

However, the third, which Ozil tweeted on Sunday night, was arguably the most damning as he confirmed that he's now retired from Germany duty.

Ozil's Germany retirement statement

Ozil ended a a two-page document by writing: "The treatment I have received from the DFB and many others makes me no longer want to wear the German national team shirt.

Korea Republic v Germany: Group F - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

"I feel unwanted and think that what I have achieved since my international debut in 2009 has been forgotten.

"People with racially discriminative backgrounds should not be allowed to work in the largest football federation in the world that has many players from dual-heritage families."

The attacking midfielder continued: "Attitudes like theirs simply do not reflect the players they supposedly represent.

"It's with a heavy heart and after much consideration that, because of recent events, I will no longer play 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. This decision has been extremely difficult to make.

GERMANY-FBL-WC-2018-GER-RETURN

"I've always given everything for my teammates, the coaching staff and the good people of Germany.

"But when high-ranking DFB officials treat me as they did, disrespect my Turkish roots and selfishly turn me into political propaganda, then enough is enough.

"That is not why I play football and I will not sit back and do nothing about it. Racism should never, ever be accepted."

Check out the full statement, which Ozil tweeted, below:

The 29-year-old scored 23 goals in 92 caps for the German national team and, of course, was at the heart of their 2014 World Cup triumph.

Germany v Argentina: 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final

Whatever you think about Ozil or the situation, most people can agree that an international career ending for these reasons is a great, sad shame.

What is YOUR opinion on the reasons why Ozil has decided to retire from international football and stop playing for Germany? Have YOUR say in the comments box below!

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Topics:
Football
Ilkay Gundogan
Mesut Özil
Germany Football
World Cup
Premier League
Arsenal

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