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Russia plan squad purge for World Cup

Russia
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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Mesut Ozil dismisses fan criticism

Brazil legend Pele is tipping his home nation to come up against Germany in the 2014 FIFA World Cup final next month.

Mesut Ozil has hit back at the Germany fans who booed him in the recent friendly against Cameroon, saying he believes he has the respect of coach Joachim Low and the majority of supporters.

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Arsenal midfielder Ozil was targeted by a section of the crowd as Germany and Cameroon drew 2-2, and had also been singled out for criticism during the 1-0 win over Chile in March.

He told Sport Bild: "I am no longer a talent but an experienced player who has played in three countries. I take responsibility.

"I was voted Germany player of the year three times running and in the team of the year in England -- always by the fans, and that is also important to me.

"I feel that I have the trust of Joachim Low and [Arsenal manager] Arsene Wenger, and that I have earned it. I am now 25 years old, and at that age every footballer in the world plays in a different way to how he did when he was 21.

"And of course, my role at Arsenal is different in as much that I have more responsibility than at Real [Madrid] -- and I like that."

Ozil had an inconsistent first year in English football, but bounced back to end the season by helping Arsenal to win the FA Cup and end their nine-year run without a trophy. "The FA Cup win means that I have won three finals," he added.

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