Kroos: Germany focused despite Ozil and Gundogan row

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Criticism of the midfield duo's appearance with the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has not dampened spirits within the World Cup holders' camp

Germany's World Cup preparations have not been hampered by the criticism and media scrutiny over Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan's meeting with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to Toni Kroos.

The Real Madrid midfielder said the mood in the Germany camp is positive ahead of their World Cup opener against Mexico on Sunday, despite Ozil and Gundogan being booed by sections of their own supporters during friendly matches against Austria and Saudi Arabia.

Erdogan was pictured shaking hands with Ozil at a meeting with the Premier League's contingent of players of Turkish descent, where Gundogan referred to him as "my president", sparking negative reaction from critics of Erdogan's human rights record.

The story has dominated the headlines around Joachim Low's team in the build-up to the World Cup, but Kroos told reporters: "The mood is basically really good.

"Of course, the topic will have occupied the two. But I have a good impression of both of them and the feeling in the team is that it's no longer an issue.

"What is talked about in talk shows may not interest us here. We are here to play football."

Kroos himself was critical of Germany's performance following a 1-0 friendly defeat to Brazil in March and also identified flaws in their play during their final World Cup warm-up game, which ended in a 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia.

Despite claiming Germany's recent form has been mixed, Kroos has been pleased with the attitude of the squad.

"That was not a fundamental criticism, but related to the game," he said of his comments on the Brazil defeat.

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"Although we did not do some good things against Saudi Arabia, I had the feeling that everyone wanted it. You cannot criticise the attitude - and that will be the same at the World Cup.

"We are aware that we still have to go a step further. But there is a lot of anticipation.

"We have often proved that we are there when it starts."

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