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.”


Juventus too good for Man Utd on Ronaldo’s return

Updated 24 October 2018
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Juventus too good for Man Utd on Ronaldo’s return

  • Paulo Dybala scored the winner on 17 minutes as the Italian champions opened up a five-point lead over United at the top of Group H
  • The hosts failed to threaten until Paul Pogba’s curling shot from outside the box hit the post 15 minutes from time

MANCHESTER: Cristiano Ronaldo emerged victorious again on his second return to Old Trafford, but this time did not get on the scoresheet as Juventus outclassed Manchester United to win 1-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Instead Ronaldo played a supporting role by helping set up Paulo Dybala’s winner on 17 minutes as the Italian champions opened up a five-point lead over United at the top of Group H.
Jose Mourinho’s men were handed a break before kick-off as Valencia’s 1-1 draw away to Young Boys means United still hold a two-point lead over the Spaniards, but a fourth defeat of the season will see speculation over Mourinho’s future increase once more.
But for a series of excellent saves from David de Gea, the margin of defeat could have been far greater too as any momentum United gained from fightbacks against Newcastle and Chelsea in recent weeks in the Premier League faded away against one of the favorites to win the Champions League.
Ronaldo was given a hero’s welcome on his previous visit to Old Trafford with Real Madrid in 2013 after scoring 118 goals for United in six seasons between 2003 and 2009 to help the Red Devils win three Premier League titles and the first of his five Champions Leagues.
The Portuguese’s early days as Juventus player since making the move to Italy from Madrid this summer have been overshadowed by a rape allegation made against him in the United States.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has strongly denied the allegation and been backed by his new club, who paid 112 million euros ($129 million) for the 33-year-old in July.
But the reception he received from the United faithful this time was far more muted with only a mild cheer raised when his name in the Juventus line-up was announced.
Ronaldo scored the winner in a contentious Champions League last-16 tie for Madrid five years ago, but this time played the role of provider for Dybala to be the match-winner.
His cross intended for Juan Cuadrado ricocheted kindly off Chris Smalling into the path of Dybala to sweep the ball past De Gea for his fourth goal in two Champions League games.
As Juventus dominated the rest of the first half, only De Gea stood in their way of killing the game off before the break.
The Spaniard flew to his right to save Joao Cancelo’s fiercely-struck shot then produced a fine double save to parry Ronaldo’s free-kick and swat away Blaise Matuidi’s follow-up effort.
Top scorer in this competition for the past six seasons, Ronaldo is still searching for his first Champions League goal for Juventus having been sent off after just 30 minutes of his European debut against Valencia and subsequently banned for a 3-0 victory over Young Boys.
He couldn’t have done much more with an effort that soared toward De Gea’s top corner seven minutes into the second half only to see the United ‘keeper produce a miraculous right-handed save.
Going behind brought out the best in Mourinho’s side against Newcastle and Chelsea to help ease the pressure on the manager.
But the hosts failed to threaten until Paul Pogba’s curling shot from outside the box hit the post 15 minutes from time.
Anthony Martial also tested Wojciech Szczesny late on but Juventus held out for a deserved victory.