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Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil has been advised to retire from international football after being subjected to a torent of criticism in the wake of Germany’s exit at the World Cup.
Defeats to Mexico and South Korea saw the defending champions crash out at the group stage, with a number of players underperforming.
Ozil was heavily criticised before the tournament for meeting with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with even Chancellor Angela Merkel speaking out on the issue.
Germany team manager Olivier Bierhoff has since claimed he wished the 29-year-old had been omitted from the squad altogether.
Such has been the criticism of Ozil, who has won 92 caps during his nine-year senior international career which includes a World Cup win in 2014, his father believes he could call time on his Germany career.
‘If I were in his place, I would say: “Thank you, but that’s enough,” he told German publication Bild am Sonntag.
‘He’s bent, disappointed and offended, yes, offended, his own fans booed him before the World Cup at the international in Austria and he cannot understand why.
‘He doesn’t always have to defend himself. He’s played in the national team for nine years … and became a world champion.
‘It’s always said that if we win, we win together, but if we lose, we lose because of Ozil.
‘He’s booed and put up as a scapegoat – I completely understand that he is offended.
‘Mesut’s been an example for years. The situation is absurd – he loves Germany and has shown commitment to his country, that he’s presented as a scapegoat is so unfair.’
The ex-Real Madrid man is yet to publicly commit his future to the German national team, who will continue to be coached by Joachim Loew despite their World Cup failure.
Should Ozil indeed bring an end to his Germany career it will be a major boost to Arsenal and new manager Unai Emery.
Die Mannschaft have six games scheduled before the end of 2018, with two games against France and Netherlands in the Uefa Nations League and friendlies against Peru and World Cup hosts Russia.
But confirming his retirement would allow Ozil – who will wear the number 10 shirt next season – to rest during what is a relentless Premier League season.
Defender Jerome Boateng has already confirmed he has no plans to retire from international duty but it remains to be seen how many players will follow his lead.