The agent for Mesut Özil, Dr. Erkut Sogut, released a statement to Goal firing back at Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness. In full, the statement read:
The comments of Mr Hoeness miss the point completely, as they have absolutely nothing to do with football. He is trying to divert attention away from the real issue, the issue of racism and discrimination in Germany, which is resurging once again within everyday German society.
As Mesut said in his statement, he accepts reasonable and fair criticism of his football, and deals with that as part of the job. However, Mr Hoeness cannot even provide any actual evidence to back up his foolish statements that are clearly exaggerated. In this case, the stats are clear. Twenty-three goals, 40 assists - which is a German record - and five-time German player of the year - three of which come after 2014.
He claims that Mesut has been a ‘ghost’ for years, but what ‘ghost’ wins all these awards and has this much success? Mesut created more chances in the 2018 World Cup per 90 minutes than any other player, but, of course, he singles him out for criticism. As the president of Bayern Munich is it not best to focus on the performance of his own players seeing as eight of the Germany team play for the club.
If Mesut is such a bad player, what does this say about his opinion on Joachim Low, Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho? These are three elite managers who praise Mesut as one of the best in his position. It is laughable that he thinks he is more qualified to judge footballing abilities than these people, with fabricated statistics.”It is obvious that his comment about Mesut not making any tackles is completely made up and false. But, just so everyone knows, in both the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Euros, Mesut won over 65 per cent of duels per game, moreover he was the most important player in the games against France and Italy in 2016, again making a complete mockery of his ludicrous comments.
The facts speak for themselves and anyway who is he to speak about Mesut in this way? These lies are cheap, stereotypical and baseless comments - made without any foundations - that allow hurtful news to spread.
Mr. Hoeness, we will not waste any more time or energy talking about a subject clearly you know nothing about. Not only are you a disgrace to yourself, but also and more importantly a shame to Bayern Munich and the people of Germany.
Hoeness has very conveniently attempted to direct the conversation to football. You will have noticed that Mesut’s statement did not place great focus on football and anyway he accepts football-related criticism. The real issue is that which was previously mentioned – the resurgence of the racism and indiscriminate scapegoating he has been subjected to.
He has shown the courage and bravery to speak up for all of those who are unfairly treated in Germany. Immigrants, Muslims and more. These are people he does not represent. Hoeness is clearly one of those people who is not able to face the issues that are in front of him, and is the one hiding behind false stats.
Hoeness is no better than the people Mesut mentioned in his statement, as he has purposefully ignored this wider point. And has done so on purpose. Hoeness knows what he is doing. Issuing crazy comments about Mesut’s football, he thinks, it will create a big reaction and will cover the real issue.
The issue he and many in Germany are scared to confront, an issue he would prefer to sweep under the carpet because he can’t face the uncomfortable truth. He shows the depth of his character and his true personality by ignoring this and making idiotic comments about football.
Well, I will not let him succeed. Mesut has given everything for Germany on and off the pitch - contributed more to the country than he could ever dream of.
(This statement was issued directly to Goal.com)
The fallout from the Özil-DFB conflict is still ongoing and by interjecting his opinion Hoeness made Bayern Munich part of the story. Sogut certainly did not go softly on Hoeness and perhaps it is time for the Bayern president to focus on his own team while this issue festers in the media.