Premier League: Mesut Ozil thanks Arsenal fans for their 'love' following his decision to retire from international football

Ozil watched Arsenal's penalties defeat to Atletico Madrid from the bench but he received one of the biggest cheers of the night when his image was flashed up on the big screen.

Agence France-Presse July 27, 2018 12:26:38 IST
Premier League: Mesut Ozil thanks Arsenal fans for their 'love' following his decision to retire from international football

Singapore: Mesut Ozil thanked Arsenal fans for their "love" at a pre-season friendly after a torrid week following his racism allegations against Germany's football body.

Ozil watched Arsenal's penalties defeat to Atletico Madrid on Thursday from the bench but he received one of the biggest cheers of the night when his image was flashed up on the big screen.

Premier League Mesut Ozil thanks Arsenal fans for their love following his decision to retire from international football

Mesut Ozil signs autographs for fans in Singapore. Image courtesy: Twitter @MesutOzil1088

"Thanks to the Gunners in Singapore for showing so much love tonight," the 29-year-old German midfielder tweeted, with a picture of him signing autographs.

Arsenal fans dominated the audience of 23,000 who watched the London team go down 3-1 on penalties to Atletico in the International Champions Cup, after normal time ended at 1-1.

Ozil, benched after his late return to training following the World Cup, sent shockwaves through German football when he quit the national team, complaining of "racism and disrespect".

German football chief Reinhard Grindel rejected the racism charge but admitted he should have defended Ozil after the playmaker was abused for having a photograph taken with Turkey's strongman president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Ozil, who was born in Germany to Turkish-origin parents and lifted the World Cup in 2014, also felt he was unfairly singled out for their shock group-stage exit at this year's tournament.

Arsenal's new head coach, Unai Emery, and players have rallied round Ozil on their pre-season tour, while the hashtags #StandWithOzil and #SayNoToRacism have been popular on social media.

"Of course everybody supports Mesut. We're with him, we're trying to help him," Arsenal midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan told AFP this week.

"Everyone knows that Arsenal is a team with a lot of foreign players and foreign employees. It doesn't matter which country you represent, it's like family and we support each other."

Updated Date:

also read

Rafael Benitez sacked as Everton manager after just 6 months in charge
Sports

Rafael Benitez sacked as Everton manager after just 6 months in charge

The Spaniard paid the price for a dismal run of nine defeats in Everton's last 13 league matches, culminating in a 2-1 loss at lowly Norwich on Saturday.

Premier League: Liverpool beat Brentford to move up to second in table; Jack Harrison hat-trick fires Leeds to victory
Sports

Premier League: Liverpool beat Brentford to move up to second in table; Jack Harrison hat-trick fires Leeds to victory

Liverpool kept their slim hopes of reeling in Manchester City at the top of the Premier League alive by seeing off Brentford 3-0 at Anfield to move up to second in the table on Sunday.

Premier League: Mohamed Salah says he is not asking for 'crazy stuff' in new Liverpool deal
Sports

Premier League: Mohamed Salah says he is not asking for 'crazy stuff' in new Liverpool deal

The Egypt international has fewer than 18 months remaining on his current deal and has reiterated whether he stays or goes remains in the hands of Liverpool.