Former Arsenal star Mesut Ozil has sent a classy message of support to Bukayo Saka after his penalty miss in England’s Euro 2020 final defeat against Italy.
The Three Lions came agonisingly close to lifting the trophy after their match with Italy finished 1-1 after extra time, but Saka’s effort in the shoot-out was saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma.
The Gunners youngster has been a key player for club and country in recent times, and Ozil feels he deserves respect for stepping up to take such an important penalty at this big moment in a huge game.
Ozil is still loved by a lot of Arsenal fans after his fine career at the Emirates Stadium, and he’s shown he’s a good character with his quotes about Saka.
The former Germany international also hit out at the racist messages that Saka has received in the wake of his crucial spot-kick miss, with Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford also on the receiving end of this vile abuse.
“I felt very much for Bukayo, I know from my own experience how it feels to miss a penalty,” Ozil told Sky Sports.
“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.”