The captain of the German national team, and also of Bayern Munich, Manuel Neuer at last broke his silence about former teammate Mesut Özil’s decision to quit the national team amid allegations of racist treatment by the DFB.
Neuer spoke to the press at Bayern’s final preseason training camp at Tegernsee in Bavaria. Neuer acknowledged that “this topic is naturally one that was extremely difficult after [Germany’s] exit.” Neuer acknowledged Özil’s decision to withdraw from the team:
It’s the decision of every individual player. You have to find the reasons for yourself, and he [Özil] found them. We accept this decision, of course.
Neuer affirmed that Özil never experienced racism in the team:
We have always tried to integrate every player and have always done everything for our teammates, so that everyone goes into the games with a good feeling.
Neuer then turned to the future of the DFB team as Germany prepares for its Neustart — “new start.” Neuer suggested that the DFB must rebuild the team with the patriotism of potential players in mind:
It’s the job of those responsible at the DFB to structure the team and give it a new face. [The DFB must] have players there who are really proud to play for the national team and will give everything to play for their country, so that we get back on the road to success.
Be that as it may, Neuer indicated that significant changes are coming, As previous comments by head coach Joachim Löw have also suggested.
Anyway, I think things will change in the national team and also in the DFB. We’ll first have to wait and see what this new start looks like. Fact is that some things must be changed. We have big goals also in the national team and naturally want to put forward a new face.