Kroos claims he was called a Nazi on social media for Ozil criticism

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The midfielder was critical of the way his former Germany team-mate quit the national team and said he was subsequently attacked on social media

Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos says he was branded a Nazi by some on social media after he criticised how Mesut Ozil announced his retirement from the Germany national team.

Ozil announced after the 2018 World Cup that he would no longer be available for international duty, claiming that he was the victim of racism because of his Turkish ancestry.

Kroos said that Ozil deserved a "better departure" but felt that the manner in which he retired was "not in order".

What has been said?

Kroos says many jumped to calling him a Nazi because of his looks.

He said in an  Instagram Live chat with Germany president Frank-Walter Steinmeier: "After the 2018 World Cup I said that I did not like the retirement of Mesut Ozil and the manner in which he did it.

"And then I was directly a Nazi for a lot of people: blond, blue eyes … everything fit for a lot of people.

"I managed to overcome it, anyone can hide behind a fake profile and then insult other people without anything to stop them."

Why did Ozil retire from the Germany team?

Ozil faced a lot of criticism as Germany crashed out of the World Cup at the group stage and he then announced he would no longer play for the national team.

The attacking midfielder, who made 92 appearances for Die Mannschaft, went on to criticise the German football association (DFB) and its president Reinhard Grindel.

"The treatment I have received from the DFB and many others makes me no longer want to wear the German national team shirt. I feel unwanted and think what I have achieved since my international debut in 2009 has been forgotten," he said.

He added: "In the eyes of Grindel and his supporters, I am German when we win but I am an immigrant when we lose."

What did Kroos say in response?

Kroos insisted that Ozil was wrong to accuse the DFB and the Germany team of harbouring racist attitudes.

He told Bild : “Basically Mesut is a deserved international and as a player he deserved a better departure. But the way he resigned was not in order.

"The parts in his statement that are rightly addressed are unfortunately overshadowed by the significantly higher amount of nonsense.

"I think he knows very well that racism within the national team and the DFB does not exist."

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