A file photo of Mesut Ozil. Photograph:( Reuters )
Criticising former World Cup-winning teammate Mesut Ozil for the way he announced his international retirement over racism claims, Germany midfielder Toni Kroos said the Arsenal player spoke 'nonsense'.
The 29-year-old Ozil announced his international retirement in July after Germany crashed out of the World Cup group stage in Russia.
He said he had faced 'racism and disrespect' because of his Turkish roots.
"Basically Mesut is a deserved international and as a player he deserved a better departure," Kroos said in an interview.
"But the way he resigned was not in order," he added.
Ozil was a key member of Germany's World Cup-winning side in 2014 and was voted by fans as the team's player of the year five times since 2011.
In his resignation statement last month, Ozil also accused the German Football Association of failing to back him in the row over the photo.
"The parts in his statement that are rightly addressed are unfortunately overshadowed by the significantly higher amount of nonsense," Kroos said.
"I think he knows very well that racism within the national team and the DFB does not exist."
Germany failed to qualify from the World Cup group stage in Russia, making their earliest exit from the tournament in 80 years.