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Matthaus claims Arsenal star Ozil was already finished with Germany

Former Germany captain Lother Matthaus believes Mesut Ozil's international career would've ended even if he didn't choose to retire.

The Arsenal star was criticised heavily for taking a photograph with Turkey president Erdogan prior to the World Cup.

Failure from the DFB to handle the situation caused Ozil to announce his retirement via social media on Sunday. He cited discrimination for his Turkish roots from the DFB as part of the reason for his decision to quit Die Mannschaft.

But Matthaus believes Ozil's poor performance at the World Cup had already sealed his international fate.

"I think football is football, politics is politics," Matthaus told ESPN FC.

"Mesut made a good job for Germany in [previous] years but in the last one-and-a-half years he didn't hit the same performance like four years ago when we won the World Cup in 2014 in Brazil against Argentina.

"I think his time to play in the national team is over. Not because of some picture, political decision. It doesn't matter, I don't care. I see the football player Mesut Ozil and he didn't perform like before."

Asked if Ozil would be missed by Germany, Matthaus added: "No, we have a lot of good players, and when some player cannot perform like before, we have options to give the new generation the chance to help us to make the results like, for example, 2014."

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Ansser Sadiq

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