Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness welcomed Mesut Ozil's international retirement as long overdue in an extraordinary attack on the midfielder's performances for Germany.
Hoeness doesn't hold back on Ozil
Arsenal star Ozil cited a "feeling of racism and disrespect" as the motivation for his decision to step down from the national team, which he confirmed on Sunday in a series of statements posted on social media.
The 29-year-old claimed the media and German Football Federation (DFB) president Reinhard Grindel made him a scapegoat for Germany’s poor World Cup displays as part of a wider agenda against his Turkish roots.
Ozil had received criticism for posing in a photo with Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan shortly before the World Cup.
But former West Germany forward Hoeness believes the former Real Madrid player is using the incident to deflect scrutiny away from his efforts on the pitch.
"I'm glad that the spook is over. He's been playing dirt for years," Hoeness told Sport Bild.
"The last duel he won on the pitch was before the 2014 World Cup. Now he's hiding himself and his crappy performances behind this photo."
"Weak point" Ozil targeted by Bayern
Hoeness went on to claim that Bundesliga side Bayern had targeted the playmaker in their matches against Arsenal.
"Whenever we played against Arsenal we played over him because we knew that was the weak point," he said.
"His 35 million followers - that don't exist in the real world - are convinced he has played sublimely when he completes a cross pass.
"The development in our country is a catastrophe. You have to go back to what it is: sport. And, from a sporting point of view, Ozil had no place in the national team for years."
Rio Ferdinand and others respond
Other footballers have also got involved in the debate...
Surreal that someone who has done so much for his country on and off the pitch has been treated with such disrespect. Well done @MesutOzil1088 for standing up to this behaviour! https://t.co/w1dvWOHFYN— Héctor Bellerín (@HectorBellerin) 23 July 2018