Mesut Ozil's agent Erkut Sogut has finally broken his silence and has spoken out against the criticism his player received in the wake of his international retirement, specifically calling out star trio Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer and Toni Kroos.
Arsenal midfielder Ozil announced his retirement from international football after Germany's dreadful defence of their World Cup trophy this summer, citing 'racism and disrespect' as the reasons for making this decision.
A number of former national teammates criticised both the decision and statement but his agent has described German captain Neuer, forward Muller and midfielder Kroos as 'naive or scheming'.
"Muller did not understand the whole discussion. And Kroos, as a seasoned national team player, should explain what he means by 'nonsense.'"
The agent went on to add that the remarks by the trio were "more than disappointing – and also out of place. There are only two explanations: they are either naive or scheming."
It is the first time Ozil's agent has spoken publicly on the matter since the photo with the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan was taken back in May.
The playmaker and Man City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan found themselves entangled in controversy following the photo with Erdogan, with the pair subsequently booed by their home fans and lambasted by German media outlets.
After their early World Cup exit, Ozil released a statement in which he announced his retirement from international football, and accused the German Football Association of racism due to his Turkish roots.
While there was support for Ozil's statement, a number of German internationals hit out at the Arsenal attacker's comments.
Real Madrid midfielder Kroos told German newspaper Bild: "Basically Mesut is a deserved international and as a player he deserved a better departure. But the way he resigned was not in order.
''I think he knows very well that racism within the national team and the DFB does not exist."
Other players and international manager Joachim Low agreed that there was no racism within the team, and, in defence of the Gunners player, highlighted Ozil in pinpointing the football association and wider society, rather than his teammates.
Sogut however added: "Low defends himself against an accusation that has never actually been made: Mesut has not been racially abused from within the team but from the midst of German society. The German football association should have been more protective in this case."
The agent has also defended his client's photo with Erdogan, reiterating that it was a matter of respect and adding that there was no discussion with him about whether to meet the president or not.
"Mesut did not make any mistakes. It is just a matter of respect and courtesy to agree to meet the president of Turkey when he requests it. The two of them have met regularly over the past eight years. It has never been a problem before for the German public.
"Should we tell Mesut: 'You cannot meet with the president – but maybe in two months' time?' That really does not make any sense.
"Why should I [stop him meeting the president]? Mesut is old enough, he knows what he is doing. And he has known the president far longer than he knows me."