Mesut Ozil’s father Mustafa has questioned his son’s shock decision to retire from international football in 2018. He claimed the former Arsenal star is being ‘used’ before slamming his agent Erkut Sogut for making him resign.
The midfielder announced on social media in 2018 that he would be resigning from the German national team amid accusations of ‘racism and disrespect’, while also adding that he was made a ‘scapegoat’ after their departure from the group stage at the World Cup that year.
The 35-year-old continued to play for Arsenal before enjoying spells at Fenerbache and Basakeshir, announcing in March that he would retire from football completely.
But reflecting on his son’s decision to end his international career, his father claimed he wished he could turn back time, admitting his ‘disappointment’ at the way the midfielder’s career ended.
“If I had a magic wand, I would turn the wheel back,” Ozil senior said in an interview with Image. ‘Mesut’s career couldn’t end like this. I still don’t accept it to this day. I am sad and disappointed. It hurts me.’
Mesut Özil’s father has spoken out about his shock decision to retire from international football in 2018
Ozil senior also criticized his son’s agent, Erkut Sogut (pictured), asking ‘how could he allow such a dismissal?’
After winning 92 caps and scoring 23 goals for his national team, Ozil’s decision to leave the national team came as a big surprise.
In a statement accompanying his announcement, Ozil wrote: “With a heavy heart and after much consideration, due to recent events, I will no longer play for Germany at international level as long as I feel this sense of racism and disrespect.”
He added: ‘I will no longer play for Germany at international level as long as I have this feeling of racism and disrespect. I used to wear the Germany shirt with so much pride and excitement, but not anymore.’
He enjoyed an illustrious playing career, scoring 44 times in 254 appearances for Arsenal, while also making 159 appearances for Real Madrid, guiding the Galacticos to the Spanish league title in 2012.
But his father, Mustafa, was skeptical that his son had made such statements during his retirement, adding that he believed the former Germany international had been ‘taken advantage of’.
‘Mesut was influenced by his environment. That wasn’t good for him. You cannot say that Germany is xenophobic, that the country where he was born would not have given him a chance. Such statements do not come from him, he is not. To be honest, I have the feeling that Mesut has also been abused.’
“I think he is being used to some extent,” Mustafa Ozil reiterated. And appeals: ‘But you shouldn’t read too much into it. Yet, as a father, I wish he would simply avoid posting on social media about his origins, religion and politics. He’s an athlete.’
In October, Mesut Ozil had expressed his support for Palestine amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.
He posted a message on X (formerly Twitter) asking for an end to the war and saying, “praying for humanity.” Praying for peace’ before adding a Palestinian flag.
His father also turned on his son’s agent, Sogut, the founder of sports representation ‘GROW’, claiming his dismissal should not have happened.
Ozil enjoyed an excellent playing career, notably making 254 appearances for Arsenal
He also helped Germany to World Cup glory in 2014 before announcing his retirement in 2019.
Ozil hit out at “racism and disrespect” he had also been subjected to following his retirement from international football
He also announced in March that he would end his career completely, having spent time at Fenerbache and Basaksehir since leaving Arsenal in 2021.
‘Mesut was cared for by Erkut Sögüt at the time. That’s why I wonder: how can you allow such a dismissal? Mesut was voted National Player of the Year five times by fans. He received the Bambi for successful integration.
‘These are great awards, great appreciation for his achievements. And then such an exit? This should never have happened! As an advisor I have to act differently because he has a responsibility to his player.’
Although Ozil junior has not played football for the past seven months, it was reported in September that he was ‘in the running to become general manager of the Turkish national team’.
But his father hoped that his son would one day reconcile his differences with the German Football Association and take on an advisory or coaching role within the organization.