MESUT OZIL'S dad has questioned the reasons behind his son's decision to retire from international football.
Ozil, 35, quit the Germany team in 2018 amid allegations of "racism and disrespect".
The midfielder also insisted that he was made a "scapegoat" following Germany's early exit from the World Cup that year.
However, his dad, Mustafa, has revealed he regrets the way things ended between his son and the national team.
In an interview with Bild, Ozil senior said: "If I had a magic wand, I would turn the wheel back.
"Mesut's career couldn't end like this. I still don't accept it to this day. I am sad and disappointed. It hurts me."
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Mustafa went on to suggest that his son was "taken advantage of" before making the decision to quit the German national team.
He added: "Mesut was influenced by his environment. That wasn't good for him. You can't say that Germany is xenophobic, that the country where he was born wouldn't have given him a chance.
"Such statements do not come from him, that is not him. Honestly: I have the feeling that Mesut was also taken advantage of.
"I think he is being used to a certain extent.
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"But you shouldn't read too much into it. Nevertheless, as a father, I wish that he would simply leave out social media messages about his origins, religion and politics. He's an athlete."
Ozil's dad also criticised his son's agent, Erkut Sogut, for allowing him to resign, adding: "Mesut was looked after by Erkut Sögüt at the time. So I ask myself: How can you allow such a resignation?
"Mesut was voted National Player of the Year five times by fans. He received the Bambi for successful integration.
"These are great awards, a great appreciation for his achievements. And then such an exit? This should never have happened!
"As an advisor, I have to act differently because he has a responsibility towards his player."
After retiring from international duty in 2018, Ozil spent two-and-a-half more years with Arsenal before his contract was terminated in January 2021.
He then joined Fenerbahce, but left after two seasons to sign for Istanbul Basaksehir.
And in March this year he made the decision to hang up his boots for good, citing a series of recent injuries as the main reason.
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