Özil captaining Arsenal a miracle - Hoeness

Özil captaining Arsenal a miracle - Hoeness

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German football icon Uli Hoeness has again strongly criticised Mesut Özil, who has retired from international football.

Mesut Özil captaining Arsenal is a "miracle", according to Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness.

Arsenal playmaker named as Gunners co-captain by new boss Emery

With Laurent Koscielny out through injury, Özil was named in a group of co-captains by new Arsenal head coach Unai Emery, though he was substituted in Saturday's Premier League loss at Chelsea.

The midfielder quit international football in the wake of Germany's shock World Cup exit at the group stage, suggesting he faced discrimination over his Turkish heritage.

Özil, along with Germany team-mate Ilkay Gundogan, was strongly criticised before the World Cup after being photographed with Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Hoeness claimed last month Özil had not won a single "duel" on the pitch since before the 2014 World Cup, leading to the player's agent issuing a response to what he described as "foolish" comments from the Bayern president.

Özil "a well-marketed product whose image is a lot better than he is" 

But Hoeness has again attacked Özil in an interview with Sky Sport Germany, saying the 29-year-old should have apologised for meeting Erdogan prior to the World Cup.

"We would have been spared the whole theatre," Hoeness said.

"Özil should have been forced to make a statement. But leaving that without explanation was probably the biggest mistake ever.

"I've been watching the player for a long time and he's a well-marketed product whose image is a lot better than he is, which is the only big blame for me.

"Had [Germany coach Joachim] Löw gone to Arsenal more often in London and looked at him properly, he probably would not have taken him for sporting reasons.

"It is a miracle that he is now captain at Arsenal."


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