'When we win I'm German, when we lose I'm an immigrant' - Ozil

Some commentators and former Germany players see Ozil's retirement as no great loss for Germany

The German Football Association has expressed regret over Mesut Ozil's decision to retire from worldwide football, but denied any allegations of racism towards the Arsenal midfielder.

Matthaus said Ozil had done "a good job for Germany" in previous years but of late had failed to "hit the same performance" that helped them win the 2014 World Cup, and it was time to move on to new players.

The Arsenal midfielder will not add to his 92 caps, 23 goals and 40 assists for his country following political tensions regarding his Turkish roots and his omission from the starting XI during this summer's World Cup as the defending champions embarrassingly crashed out in the group stage.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday said he had backed Mesut Ozil's decision to quit the German national team on racism grounds in a telephone call with the Turkish-origin football star, wading into a controversy that caused uproar in Germany.

Although Ozil may have found failings with his global team, the player's club side Arsenal were quick to welcome the player back as he reported for training on Tuesday for the first time since the story unfolded.

Ozil said his recent treatment made him "no longer want to wear the German national team shirt".

The leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party said he spoke to Ozil on Monday and hailed him for his approach.

Recalling the times when he played in Europe, Ozalan said he had also been exposed to racist attacks. "I feel unwanted and think what I have achieved since my worldwide debut in 2009 has been forgotten".

The Arsenal playmaker felt he was made a scapegoat for Germany's poor showing at the World Cup in Russian Federation after a meeting with Erdogan in London.

In Ozil's ancestral home town of Devrek in the Zonguldak region on the Turkish Black Sea coast, local authorities have changed a giant picture on "Mesut Ozil Avenue" to show the photograph with Erdogan rather than Ozil in his German kit. The 29-year-old's exit from Die Mannschaft was met with a muted response from fellow players.

"Neither the national coach nor I were informed in advance", Loew's agent Harun Arslan confirmed to German daily Bild.

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