Football: Germany coach Loew puzzled about Real's sale of Ozil
(REUTERS) - Germany coach Joachim Loew has added his voice to the chorus of bewilderment prompted by Real Madrid's decision to sell his playmaker Mesut Ozil to Arsenal.
Real recouped almost half the 100 million euros (S$168.3 million) they paid Arsenal's Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur for Gareth Bale in the Ozil deal but have lost a player who made 31 assists in his last two seasons, the most of any player in La Liga.
The 24-year-old developed a lethal partnership with Real's Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who, according to reports in Spain on Wednesday, was angry with the Spanish club, the world's richest by income, for agreeing to the sale.
"We are hearing from Madrid that some of the players are very sad," Loew said at a news conference on Wednesday previewing Friday's 2014 World Cup qualifier against Austria in Munich.
"I found it a little difficult to believe that they would lose such a fantastic player, that Real would give up on and sell a player who had set up so many goals for them in recent seasons, but that's the way business is." Ozil said on Tuesday he decided to leave Real after three seasons in the Spanish capital because he realised he did not have the backing of coach Carlo Ancelotti.
Ozil sulked after the Italian substituted him in last month's La Liga match at Granada and he left him on the bench for Sunday's 3-1 victory at home to Athletic Bilbao.
"Mesut is quite a sensitive kind of player who needs a lot of backing from his club and his coach," Loew said.
"You could see in recent days before his transfer that possibly that backing was not 100 per cent there." Ozil's move was good for Germany, Loew added.
"This is positive for the national team because with Arsenal he is joining a club with a top manager and above all a team that plays at a very, very high technical level that I think Mesut is perfectly suited to." Ozil's Germany team mate Lukas Podolski said the transfer was great news for Arsenal, where he also plays along with Germany defender Per Mertesacker.
"I am convinced that he will fit brilliantly into our sporting concept," Podolski said on the German soccer federation website (www.dfb.de) on Wednesday.
"We move the ball around with a lot of quick passes and play in a way that suits him," he added.
"I very much enjoy playing with him, and I think he does with me. We compliment each other."