Mesut Ozil backs ‘blessed’ former Arsenal team-mate Bukayo Saka to ‘become a great player’ after penalty miss and racist abuse

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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Mesut Ozil has thrown his support behind his former Arsenal team-mate Bukayo Saka and believes the teenager will bounce back from missing a penalty in the final of Euro 2020.

Saka missed his penalty against Italy in the final as England were beaten on penalties at Wembley on July 11.

The teenager was then, along with Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford, subjected to racist abuse on social media.

Ozil has extended his support to Saka, who he played with at Arsenal, and believes the winger is strong enough to bounce back.

“I felt very much for Bukayo. I know from my own experience how it feels to miss a penalty,” Ozil told Sky Sports News.

“In a final, as the last one, to take on the responsibility of an entire nation as a young player - respect. Not many players would dare to do that.

“There will always be people who racially abuse and scapegoat people of different backgrounds and skin colour when they lose.

“Unfortunately there will always be a small part of our community that racially insults and threatens players.

“We should focus much more on the positive messages that keep players strong.

“Bukayo is a modest young player. I have gotten to know him as a very determined young man who works very hard for his dream and does everything he can to achieve it.

“Bukayo is blessed with a talent that not many have. If he remains as humble and determined as he already is, I am 100 per cent convinced that he has a great future ahead of him and can become a great player.

“He’s really a great talent, and I’m sure that there are going to be many more big matches for the English national team for him in the future.”

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