Germany players accept Ozil’s retirement – Neuer
Manuel Neuer claims Germany’s players have accepted the decision of Mesut Ozil to retire from international duty.
Arsenal midfielder Ozil called time on his career with Die Mannschaft after Joachim Low’s side saw their defence of the World Cup come to an abrupt end in the group stage in Russia.
Germany’s preparations for the tournament were overshadowed by a controversial meeting between Ozil, team-mate Ilkay Gundogan and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan in London.
The decision of two Germany players with Turkish heritage to pose for photographs with the authoritarian leader was heavily criticised in some quarters.
Ozil announced last month he will no longer be available to play for his country, launching a blistering attack on the German Football Federation (DFB) and its president Reinhard Grindel for their handling of the incident.
In response, many notable figures in German football, particularly Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness, have condemned the 29-year-old’s actions.
Bayern goalkeeper Neuer, though, acknowledged the right of the former Real Madrid star to walk away, and feels Germany’s poor performance in Russia has inflated the issue.
“If both of them [Ozil and Gundogan] or all of the players performed great at the World Cup we wouldn’t stand here and talk about this,” he said.
Asked if he was personally disappointed by Ozil’s retirement, Neuer replied: “It’s the decision of [each individual] player.
“When another player is saying that he wants to [retire] it’s his own decision. You have to search [for] the reasons on your own then and in that case, he has found them.
“We’re accepting this decision of course.
“In the past other players had quit their career at the national team too after a tournament like the European Championship or the World Cup.”