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Mesut Ozil backs former Arsenal team-mate Bukayo Saka to come back from his heartbreak at Euro 2020 2020

Mesut Ozil supports former Arsenal team-mate Bukayo Saka to come back from his pain in the Euro 2020 penalty and tells the attacker to ‘stay strong’ after being the target of racist abuse

  • Mesut Ozil has supported Bukayo Saka bounce back from his Euro 2020 heartbreak
  • The English forward missed the final penalty in the shoot-out against Italy
  • He was subsequently the target of racial abuse on social media after the match
  • Ozil said his former teammate deserved respect and told him to stay strong sterk

Mesut Ozil has supported his former Arsenal team-mate Bukayo Saka to recover from his Euro 2020 heartbreak, telling the attacker to ‘stay strong’ after being the target of racial abuse.

Saka’s miss from the spot saw Italy win the European Championship with a 3-2 win in the shoot-out at Wembley.

Ozil, who played alongside the youngster for the Emirates, sympathized with the attacker and said he deserved respect for having the courage to stand up for his country.

Mesut Ozil has supported Bukayo Saka to come back from his heartbreak at Euro 2020

The former Arsenal midfielder said the youngster deserved respect for stepping up a penalty

Mesut Ozil (left) has supported his former Arsenal team-mate Bukayo Saka (right) to recover from his heartbreak at Euro 2020

Saka's miss from the spot saw Italy become European champions with a 3-2 win

Saka’s miss from the spot saw Italy become European champions with a 3-2 win

“I felt a lot for Bukayo,” said Ozil vertelde air sports. “I know from my own experience what it feels like to miss a penalty.

“In a final, last, to take on the responsibility of an entire nation as a young player – respect. Not many players would dare to do that.’

Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford also missed their penalties and all three players were racially insulted on social media after the match.

Ozil, who played for Germany between 2009 and 2018, cited racism as the reason for his retirement from international football.

Racists shelled Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jodan Sancho with horrific abuse after the trio missed their penalties in the Euro 2020 final

Racists shelled Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jodan Sancho with horrific abuse after the trio missed their penalties in the Euro 2020 final

Racists bombarded Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jordan Sancho with horrific abuse after the trio missed their penalties in the Euro 2020 final

Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford were also assaulted after missing their spot kicks

Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford were also assaulted after missing their spot kicks

The midfielder, who has Turkish parents, tweeted: ‘I’m German when we win, but I’m an immigrant when we lose.’

The 32-year-old said racism will remain an issue but told Saka it was important to stay strong.

“There will always be people who racially abuse and scapegoat people of different backgrounds and skin color when they lose,” he added.

“Unfortunately, there will always be a small part of our community that racially insults and threatens players.

“We should focus a lot more on the positive messages that keep players strong.”

Ozil also believes the 19-year-old has a bright future, adding: “Bukayo is blessed with a talent that not many people have. If he remains as humble and determined as he is, I am one hundred percent convinced that he has a great future ahead of him and can become a great player.”

Ozil believes the youngster has a bright future and told him to stay strong despite racism

Ozil believes the youngster has a bright future and told him to stay strong despite racism

The racial abuse of England’s players was condemned by manager Gareth Southgate in the aftermath of the final.

He said, ‘It’s just not what we stand for. We have been a beacon of light in bringing people together into people who can relate to the national team, and the national team stands for everyone and so that togetherness must continue.

“We have shown how much strength our country has when it comes together and has that energy and positivity together.

“It’s my decision who takes the penalties, it’s not a question of players not volunteering or more experienced players withdrawing.”

Prince William called the abuse abhorrent, while Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden called on social media companies to do more about online abuse.

Prince William also called the abuse unacceptable and sickening after Italy's defeat

Prince William also called the abuse unacceptable and sickening after the defeat to Italy

The Duke of Cambridge tweeted: ‘I am sickened by the racist abuse against English players after last night’s game.

“It is totally unacceptable that players have to endure this horrific behaviour.

“It has to stop now and everyone involved must be held accountable.”

Dowden added: “I share the anger at the horrific racist abuse of our heroic players.

“Social media companies must do their best to address it and if they don’t, our new online safety law will hold them accountable with fines of up to 10 percent of global revenue.”

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