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Leroy Sane: 'Mesut Ozil needs space following Germany retirement'

Germany forward Leroy Sane insists that compatriot Mesut Ozil "needs some space" following the Arsenal midfielder's decision to step down from the national team.

Germany forward Leroy Sane has claimed that compatriot Mesut Ozil "needs some space" following the Arsenal midfielder's decision to step down from the national team.

On Sunday, Ozil announced that he would no longer play for Die Mannschaft, citing "racism and disrespect" within the country's football setup.

The 29-year-old stated that he received hate mail and threats following his photograph with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and felt that he was scapegoated following Germany's lacklustre World Cup campaign.

Sane, who did not make Germany's 23-man squad for Russia 2018 despite a superb season for Manchester City, stressed that Ozil will need time to come to terms with his decision, just like he had to following Joachim Low's snub.

"I know how it is, when I wasn't in the squad and when I wasn't involved," Sane told ESPN. "I think everyone needs some space.

"I wasn't also sitting on my phone and responding to everyone who texted me because I needed my time to calm down and think about everything and that's the same that I let happen to them. Give them some space and time with their family.

"I think it's his decision and everything else we leave for him [to say]."

Ozil has won 92 caps for Germany since his debut in 2009, scoring 23 goals in the process.

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Mesut Ozil in action for Germany against Austria on June 2, 2018
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States98825
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia77418
Great BritainGreat Britain45413
Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events

· Team GB have dominated the men's coxless fours in recent Olympics, winning on each of the last five occasions, but this year they face some stiff competition. They are one of four rowing medal contenders for Great Britain today (2.10am)

· Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus face off again in the women's 200m freestyle final, with the latter having already come out on top in the 400m event (2.41am)
· Team GB's Abbie Wood is among the medal contenders in the women's 200m individual medley final, while teammate Alicia Wilson will also take part. USA's Kate Douglass was the fastest qualifier, while world and Olympic record holder Katinka Hosszu is also involved (3.45am)
· Katie Ledecky could make it two golds in one morning as she goes into the 1500m freestyle final as heavy favourite, having broken the Olympic record in qualifying (3.54am)
· Team GB were by far the fastest qualifiers for the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final and will therefore be favourites for another gold in the pool (4.26am)

· Team GB take on New Zealand in the first men's semi-final, having been beaten by reigning champions Fiji but then come from behind to overcome USA on day two (3am)
· The sevens gold medal match takes place at Tokyo Stadium, with the winner of Great Britain vs. New Zealand taking on either Argentina or Fiji (10am)

· Joe Fraser and James Hall compete for Team GB in the men's all-around final (3.15am-6.10am)

· Anna Shackley will take part in the women's road time trial (from 3.30am)
· Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart have medal ambitions for Great Britain in the men's road time trial, although both will need to recover from the crash they suffered on Saturday (6am)

· Jack Laugher bids to retain his men's 3m synchro diving title alongside new partner Daniel Goodfellow (7am)

· Charlotte Dujardin will look to add to her already legendary status with a third successive Olympic individual dressage title (9.30am-1.25pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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