German football expert responds to Toni Kroos slamming Mesut Ozil for quitting Germany

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Safe to say Mesut Ozil's decision to retire from the Germany national team because of racism has opened a can of worms.

In his statement, the 29-year-old said: "I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose," referring to the treatment he received from DFB president Reinhard Grindel.

Ozil has since been shown support from some of his Germany teammates but also had his claims rejected by the likes of Manuel Neuer and Toni Kroos.

Kroos was the most recent to comment on Ozil's retirement and labelled his reasoning as "nonsense".

"Basically Mesut is a deserved international and as a player he deserved a better departure," said the Real Madrid man, "but the way he resigned was not in order.

"I think he knows very well that racism within the national team and the DFB does not exist."

Kroos' comments only added fuel to the flames and now German football expert Raphael Honigstein has shut the 28-year-old down.


Speaking for ESPN, Honigstein rightly accused Kroos of misunderstanding Ozil's reason for quitting Germany and dodging the question of racism:

"He (Kroos) completely misunderstands what Ozil said. He did not accuse the national team of being racist, he did not accuse the German FA as an organisation to be racist to him.

"He specifically spoke about the politics and the behaviour of Grindel. He spoke of the wider reaction on social media, and certain newspapers who were discriminating [against] him.

"So what Kroos is saying is completely missing the point. Unfortunately it was echoed by the other teammates who all said 'we don't know what he's talking about, there's no racism in the national team'.

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"That might be true, Ozil never said it was, but they're completely failing to address the real issue that he feels he's been forced out and has suffered a lack of protection from those around him.

"It's hugely concerning. It's a missed opportunity to put it mildly. I think it's sadly indicative of an environment where people prefer to answer the easy question - racism in the national team.

"Nobody wants to talk about this, instead they focus on the easy stuff. Maybe from a point of naivety, maybe just not wanting to engage with the issue.

"Of course it discredits [Ozil's] overall argument if they can pick holes in it, but they're really knocking down a straw man argument, because he's never made it in the first place."

Toni Kroos
Mesut Özil
Germany Football

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