Ozil to skip Germany’s pre-World Cup friendly

Leverkusen, June 7 (IANS) Germany and Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil is set to skip their final pre-World Cup friendly with the German Football Association saying it is “a precautionary measure.”

“We don’t want to take any risks tomorrow,” Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff was quoted as saying by ESPNFC.

“He sprinted today, and I’d like to think it will be an issue at the World Cup.

“He played the Austria match. You do need those minutes. I don’t think [the fitness] will be a problem. You can build up fitness during a tournament.”

Germany host Saudi Arabia here on Friday. Ozil has missed out on the majority of the training sessions in the nation’s training camp in Eppan, Italy.

Earlier on Thursday, Ozil warmed up with the team, then trained individually during the final session in Italy ahead of the trip back to Germany.

Meanwhile, Miroslav Klose, who trains Germany’s attacking players, revealed he was part of the decision to axe Leroy Sane from the squad. The dropping of Sane caused massive shock worldwide as Manchester City’s star performer has had a solid season, helping the English club with the Premier League title.

“Yes, I was involved in the decision,” the former striker said.

“I think it was incredibly nice how he reacted to it. It was just a very, very tight decision. He must draw his conclusions from it. And looking at his posts on social media, I get the impression he learned from it.

“He knows that he’s incredibly talented. He’s got so much pace, you rarely see it and he shows it in Premier League. He had a lot of scenes for us, but he couldn’t really get it onto the pitch for us like he could do it in Premier League. Like I said — It was really tight, and it was not against Leroy, but rather for Julian.”

Germany will kick off their World Cup campaign with a match against Mexico on June 17.

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