Hoffenheim midfielder playmaker Kerem Demirbay has hit back at Mesut Ozil’s critics.
Ozil was been singled out for criticism following Germany’s World Cup disaster which saw them crash out during the group stages.
Former Germany internationals such as Lothar Matthaus and Stefan Effenberg slated Ozil following the tournament.
However, Demirbay believes the criticism aimed at Ozil is unfair and that the 29-year-old “wears the Germany jersey with pride.”
“If all is well, then everything is fine. If it is not, I find it wrong to single out individuals,” Demirbay told German outlet Kicker.
“There is no need to question anything. Mesut wears the national jersey with pride, just like me and everyone else.
“Mesut is not obliged to sing the national anthem.
“Not because he is a German Turk but because he has decided not to do that.
“You have to respect that decision, as it is accepted for players of other national teams.”
Demirbay has recently been linked with a move to Liverpool following an impressive season with Hoffenheim.
The Hoffenheim midfielder – like Ozil – had the option to play for the Turkey national team but opted to represent Germany.
Ozil put pen to paper on a new contract Arsenal late last season keeping him at the north London based club until 2021.
The 29-year-old is currently on an extended summer break and will return to the club to begin pre-season training later this month.