Immigrants Won the World Cup, But Ozil’s Retirement Reminds Us that Racism Isn’t Defeated

Sports

Immigrants Won the World Cup, But Ozil’s Retirement Reminds Us that Racism Isn’t Defeated

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

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fter playing 92 matches for his country, most recently at the 2018 World Cup, German midfielder Mesut Ozil announced his retirement from international football on Monday. At 29, Ozil surely has a few good Euro Cup and World Cup performances left in him, all the better to rinse the taste of Germany’s sad showing from the mouths of dedicated Deutschland fans.

Ozil, who is of Turkish heritage, had other reasons for his retirement that proved more important than the disappointment of quitting on a low note. He claimed that the German Football Association (DFB) head, Reinhard Grindel, only considers him a German when they win, and an immigrant when they lose. Ozil also said that regardless of his contributions, he is treated as an outsider.

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