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Ozil retirement storm sparks 'unprecedented' reaction in Germany, admits DFB vice-president

14:04 EAT 05/08/2018
MesutOzil - cropped
Reinhard Rauball says the Arsenal midfielder has had a far greater fallout than anything seen before after walking away from the national side

The scale and impact of Mesut Ozil's international retirement is unprecedented, according to German Football Federation (DFB) vice-president Reinhard Rauball.

Ozil called time on his career Germany career after their defence of the World Cup came to a surprise end in the group stage in Russia.

The build-up to Die Mannschaft's campaign was overshadowed by the fallout from the Arsenal playmaker and Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan meeting with controversial Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Ozil heavily criticised the DFB and its president Reinhard Grindel for their handling of the incident when announcing his retirement on social media, and Rauball cannot remember another subject in German football dominating the news agenda as much.

"The topic has reached a magnitude that is unprecedented. Even the Bundesliga [match-fixing] scandal in the early 1970s did not make such waves," Rauball told Bild am Sonntag.

"I do not communicate via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and on this issue I have to say that I would prefer a more conservative form of communication, such as a face-to-face conversation.

"I've been part of the national team's delegation for 11 years and I've probably seen almost every single one of Mesut's 92 international appearances.

"I've come to know him as a very modest man who was very popular with the team and could have fun with them.

"I would be happy if we met again, perhaps after a little time, for a personal conversation."