Germany midfielder Toni Kroos has criticised former World Cup-winning teammate Mesut zil for the way he announced his international retirement over racism claims and said the Arsenal player spoke nonsense
Toni Kroos has criticised his former Germany teammate Mesut zil for the way he announced his international retirement over claims of racism, which the Real Madrid midfielder called nonsense.
zil announced he would no longer be playing for the national in July after Joachim Lws Germany crashed out of the World Cup group stage. He said he had faced racism and disrespect because of his Turkish roots.
Basically Mesut is a deserved international and as a player he deserved a better departure, Kroos told Bild newspaper in an interview published on Thursday. But the way he resigned was not in order.
zil, 29, was a key member of Germanys World Cup-winning side in 2014 and was voted by fans as the teams player of the year five times since 2011. But the Arsenal midfielder faced a barrage of criticism at home for having his photograph taken with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoan in May and for his performances at the World Cup in Russia.
In his resignation statement last month, zil also accused the German Football Association of failing to back him in the row over the photo. German fans jeered him and Manchester Citys Ilkay Gndoan, who is also of Turkish descent and posed with Erdoan, during World Cup warm-up games in May.
The parts in his statement that are rightly addressed are unfortunately overshadowed by the significantly higher amount of nonsense, Kroos said. I think he knows very well that racism within the national team and the DFB does not exist.
Germanys elimination from the World Cup was their earliest exit from the tournament in 80 years, and zil felt he was scapegoated for their unsuccessful title defence.
In his statement, zil wrote: In the eyes of [German FA president Reinhard] Grindel and his supporters I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose.
Kroos, 28, said he had no plans to follow zil into international retirement:I will continue towards Euro 2020 and have set myself the goal of being far more successful there than in the recent past.
I had a good talk with Joachim Lw. We will find solutions together so that I can get a break here and there. For me thats the only way and I am thankful for Jogis understanding.
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