Toni Kroos has hit out again at former Germany teammate Mesut Ozil amid claims of racism within the country’s football federation.
Ozil announced that he would no longer play for Germany as long as he felt a victim of persecution from within in July.
Germany have been tripping over themselves to deny racism within the team thereafter, thus completely missing and trivialising Ozil’s actual point.
The Arsenal midfielder was on the agenda for national team manager Joachim Low as Germany emerge from their World Cup disaster and embark on a UEFA Nations League campaign.
“He’s said he’s going to step down. Are there any questions open?” said an exasperated Low when asked if Ozil could one day return.
“I don’t know why we should keep talking about it. He was part of the team for a long time but not any more, for this team it’s over and he’s not part of our thoughts any more.”
The head coach added that there has never been any racism in the team during his decade in charge “so it is not a topic at all”.
This was echoed by one of his most senior players, Kroos.
“I don’t think (the row) says anything about German football,” the Real Madrid midfielder said.
“We’ve shown the absolute opposite of what has been claimed. It’s a unique and special situation with Mesut but I totally disagree with what he said about the (German FA) and the president.
“The team has been a good role model for the entire society and shown how multiculturalism works. All players can be welcome in our team.”
Racism within the team, however, is one thing Ozil did not actually allege, as his claims were directed at the federation and German society more widely.
When this was pointed out to the national team manager Oliver Bierhoff, the former striker said: “Well, we have to deny it very strongly.
“OK, he didn’t say it, but journalists are asking about it. That’s why we have to deny it.
“I really can assure you, it’s our biggest effort in the team, but also the federation.”
Bierhoff did, however, admit he and others at the German FA made mistakes in how they have handled this affair but said efforts have been made to talk to Ozil since his statement and they have been rebuffed.