Mesut Ozil thanks Jerome Boateng for support over racism row

Mesut Oil retired from Germany duty after the World Cup citing racism as one of the reasons. (AFP)
Updated 22 September 2018
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Mesut Ozil thanks Jerome Boateng for support over racism row

LONDON: Mesut Ozil has thanked Jerome Boateng for public support in the wake of Ozil’s controversial retirement from international football.
Ozil, 29, walked away from the Germany squad in July, claiming he was made a scapegoat for the national team’s disastrous failure at the World Cup and cited “racism and disrespect” due to his Turkish heritage and criticized the German FA (DFB).
Berlin-born Boateng, 30, was one of the few German players to speak up for Ozil at the time, said in an interview this week that fellow stars in the national team should have supported the Arsenal midfielder against the harsh criticism following the World Cup debacle.
“Thanks bro, for your words,” Arsenal midfielder Ozil wrote in an Instagram story on his official page.
“At the DFB, you were always one of the players who was there during difficult moments.”
After 23 goals and 40 assists in 92 appearances for Germany, Ozil, who was born in Gelsenkirchen to Turkish parents, announced his retirement in a fiery three-page statement.
Boateng said his fellow 2014 World Cup winner had earned the right to a better send off.
“Where were the players, who then publicly thanked Mesut?” questioned Boateng, whose father comes from Ghana, in an interview with Munich-based Sueddeutsche Zeitung this week.
“Apparently, many did not dare to comment because they thought that would not be so popular with German fans.
“It’s about a great player, who became world champion with us, who played fantastic games, who also changed German football a bit. A number 10 with a migration background!
“You have to say ‘thank you’, but I find it a shame that some held back.”


Virat Kohli savors first India win over Australia Down Under for a decade

Updated 10 December 2018
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Virat Kohli savors first India win over Australia Down Under for a decade

  • India's last triumph on Australian soil at the WACA in Perth in 2008
  • Kohli confident win sets tourists up for a series win.

ADELAIDE: Virat Kohli said it was “very special” to captain India to their first Test win in Australia for a decade and gave his side crucial momentum in their bid for a maiden series victory.
The visitors won a tightly-contested opening Test in Adelaide by 31 runs on the fifth day after setting Australia a target of 323, which would have been a record run chase at the ground.
It was a big breakthrough for Kohli’s men, with their last triumph on Australian soil at the WACA Ground in Perth in 2008. In Adelaide, their sole previous win was in 2003.
“Obviously it’s a great feeling. We’ve never taken a lead in a series in Australia, something that for us is a huge boost,” he said.
“And it’s given us the right momentum that we needed to play a big series like this and it’s something that we’ve had to work hard for.
“Any Test victory is special because you work hard over five days, and then the physical and the mental toil and the emotion of it all comes together in a result is a very special feeling.”
Kohli, who has long led India’s batting charge with admirable consistency across all three formats but failed to fire in Adelaide, said he believed his team collectively were better than Australia and deserved to win.
The victory was built on Cheteshwar Pujara’s first innings 123 and his second innings 71, while wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant took a world record-equalling 11 catches.
“It was priceless from Pujara, we were down and out at lunch on day one. His grit and determination brought us back in it,” said Kohli.
“We always knew that runs on the board would make the home side tentative. Any lead was gold and we got 15. In the second innings again, he and Rahane batted well.”
Asked if thought 323 would be enough to win, Kohli said his middle and lower order could have done better after a five for 25 collapse at the end of the second innings.
“We could have added another 30-35 runs more which could have taken the game totally beyond Australia,” he said.
“So these are things that we have to think about going to Perth, but if someone had told me before the series that I would be 1-0 up as soon we started the series, I would have taken it with both hands.”
The second Test starts on Friday in Perth, with Melbourne and Sydney to follow.