The Gunners playmaker has sparked plenty of debate with his on and off-field activity, but he retains the full support of his international team-mate
Mesut Ozil “wears the Germany jersey with pride” regardless of what his critics may think, says the Arsenal star’s international team-mate Kerem Demirbay.
The 29-year-old playmaker has often divided opinion throughout his career, with questions inevitably asked of a creative influence that can drift in and out of games.
Ozil has, however, been thrust firmly under the spotlight over recent weeks, with both his on and off-field activity being dissected in minute detail.
A disappointing showing at World Cup 2018 did little to aid his cause, with players past and present quick to offer an opinion on a performer who has become a scapegoat for a group stage exit.
Demirbay believes that a fellow German with Turkish roots has been unfairly singled out, telling Kicker: “If all is well, then everything is fine. If it is not, I find it wrong to single out individuals.
“There is no need to question anything. Mesut wears the national jersey with pride, just like me and everyone else.”
Ozil angered many German supporters when he was pictured with controversial Turkey president Recap Tayyip Erdogan on the eve of World Cup duty.
He also continues to infuriate many fans with his reluctance to sing the national anthem when on international duty.
Hoffenheim midfielder Demirbay feels this is another example of critics looking to pick unnecessary faults in a man who has always given his all for his country.
He added of the 2014 World Cup winner: “Mesut is not obliged to sing the national anthem.
“Not because he is a German Turk but because he has decided not to do that.
“You have to respect that decision, as it is accepted for players of other national teams.”
Ozil’s father, Mustafa, has suggested that his son should quit international football in the wake of the stinging criticism which has come his way, but the former Real Madrid star has offered no indication as yet that he is considering such a move.