Elber reacts to Ozil's Germany racism claims: I never experienced it... only respect

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The former Bayern Munich striker insists that he was never on the receiving end of what Ozil claims to have been a victim of.

Giovane Elber, the former Bayern Munich striker, insists he never experienced racism in Germany, following the retirement of Mesut Ozil from international duty.

Ozil claimed, in his retirement statement, that he was stepping down due to "racism and disrespect" following Germany's group stage elimination at the 2018 World Cup.

The Arsenal attacker said that the way he was treated by the German football association made him "no longer want to wear the German national team shirt."

Accusing the DFB president of racism, he also said that "I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose."

Elber, however, insists that he was never subjected to such treatment when he was playing in Germany, having represented Bayern for six seasons.

Asked if he was ever on the receiving end of racism in the Bundesliga, he told Goal: "No, in Germany, thankfully, I never had any issues with racism.

"Not me, my family, my kids. It always went really well, and everyone always respected me the same way, no matter who it was, always with respect. With Ozil, I think it was a thing done without thinking much."

Elber says he was referring to the photograph Ozil took with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which sparked a firestorm of controversy in Germany.

Indeed, there were even calls for the Arsenal midfielder to be left out of the national team squad altogether, and Elber believes that sport and politics should always be kept apart.

"Yes, the photo he took because it started a problem that wasn’t necessary," he added, clarifying his previous comment.

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"On the other hand, it’s the president of the country where he has roots. You have to understand that.

"In Brazil we always say that football can’t mix with politics. Politics is another thing, football is on its own. It moves people.

"When you look at the World Cup games and a team loses, the fans are crying as though they’ve lost someone close to them. That’s football. And when you mix football and politics, it doesn’t go well for anyone."

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