Mesut Ozil hasn't added anything to Germany for years -- Bayern chief Uli Hoeness
Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness heavily criticised Mesut Ozil on Monday after the Arsenal playmaker announced that he was retiring from the Germany national team.
Ozil announced his withdrawal from international football on Sunday at the age of 29, citing racism and lashing out at the president of the German football federation for the reaction to his and Ilkay Gundogan's posing for a photo with Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the Turkish president's visit to London in May.
Although Ozil has never played for Bayern, the club's president -- a 1974 World Cup winner and among the more influential figures in German football -- said he wasn't sad to see Ozil go.
"I'm glad this nightmare is over," Hoeness told reporters at the Munich airport. "He's been playing crap for years.
"The last tackle he won was before the 2014 World Cup. And now he is hiding himself and his poor performances behind this photo.
"His 35 million [social media] followers, that of course do not actually exist in the real world, ensure that Ozil has played exceptionally when he successfully finds his man with a square ball."
Ozil was a key player for Germany's golden generation, starting every game for the national team at a major tournament since 2010 and helping to win the 2014 World Cup. But he was dropped for Germany's second game in Russia this summer after a defeat to Mexico in the opening game.
Hoeness, speaking before flying to the United States for his club's International Champions Cup matches, questioned how valuable Ozil's contribution has been to Joachim Low's team in recent years.
"The development in our country is a catastrophe," he said. "We should break it down again to what it is -- sport -- and on a sporting level, Ozil hasn't added anything to the national team for years. When was his last good international [game]?"
Hoeness also claimed that Bayern targeted Ozil with their tactics during their frequent Champions League matches against Arsenal in recent seasons. Each of the past three European matches between the two sides has ended in a 5-1 win for Bayern.
"When we faced Arsenal, we always played through him because we knew that he is the weak link," Hoeness said.
Hoeness' remarks drew a rebuke from Ozil's agent, who defended his client's record -- which includes five German player of the year awards -- and accused the Bayern chief of downplaying the racism-related complaints that led to the player's international retirement.
"Hoeness has very conveniently attempted to direct the conversation to football," Erkut Sogut said in a statement released to Goal.com. "You will have noticed that Mesut's statement did not place great focus on football, and anyway, he accepts football-related criticism. The real issue is that which was previously mentioned: the resurgence of the racism and indiscriminate scapegoating he has been subjected to."
The Germany football federation on Monday "vehemently" rejected Ozil's claims of racism within the organisation after the player said president Reinhard Grindel ignored his side of the Erdogan photograph and turned him into "political propaganda."
Sogut claimed that Hoeness was reacting the same way to Ozil's complaints.
"Hoeness is no better than the people Mesut mentioned in his statement, as he has purposefully ignored this wider point and has done so on purpose," the agent said. "Hoeness knows what he is doing. Issuing crazy comments about Mesut's football, he thinks, it will create a big reaction and will cover the real issue.
"The issue he and many in Germany are scared to confront, an issue he would prefer to sweep under the carpet because he can't face the uncomfortable truth. He shows the depth of his character and his true personality by ignoring this and making idiotic comments about football."