Was this why they misfired so badly in Russia?

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“I am German when we win, but an immigrant when we lose.” So said third-generation German Mesut Özil, who has Turkish ancestry, in a three-page letter announcing his retirement from Die Mannschaft. The 29-year-old Arsenal midfielder said he faced “previously hidden racist tendencies” from fans, media and the German Football Association after he was photographed with Turkey’s authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in May. Özil, who described being unfairly blamed for Germany’s early World Cup exit, says he’ll “no longer stand for being a scapegoat.”

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