Kevin-Prince Boateng on Özil: 'I know what it's like when everyone takes shots at you'
Kevin-Prince Boateng has talked about Mesut Özil's international retirement and his own decision to leave Eintracht Frankfurt.
Former Eintracht Frankfurt star Kevin-Prince Boateng says he can relate to how Mesut Özil must have felt when he decided to quit the German national team.
Özil announced his international retirement in July, releasing a statement in which he stated that he felt he had been made a 'scapegoat' far too often. In addition to that, the offensive midfielder claimed he has been a victim of racism and that his commitment to Germany had been questioned because of his Turkish heritage.
Boateng, who could have played for Germany himself, but chose to represent Ghana instead, says he believes Özil's decision was a reaction from stress.
"Honestly, I was shocked, because I didn't expect it. I think it was a reaction from stress, and I speak from experience," Boateng told Bild and added:
"I know what it's like when everyone takes shots at you, when you're really harshly criticized, when your family is being approached. It can get to you, and it's not something you can process easily."
Boateng left Frankfurt to join Serie A side US Sassuolo during the summer. The 31-year-old wanted to move closer to his family who lives in Milano, but the fact that his coach Niko Kovac left Frankfurt to join Bayern München also played a role in his decision.
"An important factor was that Niko left, too. It's no secret that I first and foremost joined Frankfurt because of him," Boateng told Bild.
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