Post Germany: Gracious Ozil still shining

July 28, 2018

Saturday proved to be a day to remember for Mesut Ozil after he followed a difficult period by captaining and scoring for Arsenal in an International Champions Cup clash with Paris Saint-Germain.

The former Germany midfielder netted a 12th-minute opener for the Gunnersagainst Unai Emery’s former side at the National Stadium in Singapore, perhaps with his confidence suitably enhanced by a somewhat unusual pre-match interaction.

As he stood clutching an Arsenal pennant ready to lead his side onto the pitch, Ozil was approached by the match referee, who appeared to ask the player to autograph his yellow card.

Mesut Ozil was made captain for Arsenal's friendly against Paris Saint-Germain in Singapore

 

Mesut Ozil was made captain for Arsenal’s friendly against Paris Saint-Germain in Singapore

 

Ozil obliged an apparent request to autograph a yellow card during an unusual interaction

 

Ozil obliged an apparent request to autograph a yellow card during an unusual interaction

 

Ozil could be forgiven for being slightly mystified by such an odd request, yet he obliged with a smile as team-mate Hector Bellerin looked on puzzlingly in footage caught by television cameras and shared widely on social media.

After missing the defeat to Atletico Madrid last week, the 29-year-old will have no doubt been glad to return his focus to events on the pitch following a recent row that culminated with him retiring from international football.

Ozil, a third-generation Turkish-German from Gelsenkirchen who met with Turkey’s controversial president Recep Tayyip Erdogan back in May, quit Germany duty with a lengthy public release in which he claimed to have been treated with ‘racism and disrespect’.

He felt he had been made a scapegoat for Germany’s worst World Cup performance for 80 years and turned into ‘political propaganda’ while declaring: ‘I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose.’

The 29-year-old gave Arsenal a 12th-minute lead against a youthful PSG side in southeast Asia

The 29-year-old gave Arsenal a 12th-minute lead against a youthful PSG side in southeast Asia

 

Ozil has endured a difficult time of late, retiring from international football after a race row

Ozil has endured a difficult time of late, retiring from international football after a race row

 

German Football Association president Reinhard Grindel replied by admitting he felt mistakes were made in handling the controversy, but rejected any claims of racism.

Arsenal produced a blistering last 30 minutes in southeast Asia, scoring four times after Christopher Nkunku had punished Sead Kolasinac’s foul on Timothy Weah from the penalty spot.

French striker Alexandre Lacazette netted a brace before Rob Holding and Eddie Nketiah completed the friendly rout of a youthful PSG side missing most of their senior players.

Next on the pre-season agenda for Arsenal is a meeting with Premier League rivals Chelsea in Dublin on August 1.

  • They then take on Lazio in Stockholm before beginning the new top-flight season at home to defending champions Manchester City on August 12.

 

SOURCE: dailymail.co.uk


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