Germany coach Joachim Loew has confirmed there is no chance of Mesut Ozil returning to the squad in the wake of the player’s bombshell retirement from international duty in July.
“I think everything has been said about this. When a player announces his resignation like that, you don’t pick him for the squad eight or nine weeks later,” Loew said at a press conference on Wednesday ahead of Germany’s UEFA Nations League game against World Cup winners France.
“Players who have resigned will not have a role to play in future.”
Ozil, capped 92 times, announced his retirement from international football in the wake of Germany’s disastrous World Cup campaign, with his statement accusing the German FA (DFB) president, Reinhard Grindel, of racism.
Loew, meanwhile, regrets not having been able to speak to the Arsenal star about his decision.
“Mesut and I enjoyed a lot of success together over the years. I have tried several times to reach him on the phone, without any luck, and I will continue to try and make contact with him in future,” he said.
Germany are desperate to put their summertime blues behind them on Thursday when they host the French – the team who succeeded them as World Cup winners – in Munich.
Loew, who resisted calls to resign after a disastrous World Cup campaign, is now under pressure to show that he is the right man to lead Germany into a new era of success. He has a contract until 2022, having extended his deal in the spring.
Manchester City’s Leroy Sane returns to the squad after his controversial exclusion from the World Cup squad.
The Ozil affair has been amplified by reports of a dressing-room rift, with players of an ethnic minority background, such as Ozil and Jerome Boateng, on one side, and the likes of Thomas Mueller and Toni Kroos on the other.
“Of course we have guys with different interests, but there are no rifts,” insisted Mueller on Tuesday, adding that the game against France was an opportunity to put such talk to bed.
© Agence France-Presse (additional edits from Chris Kelleher)