Mesut Ozil has criticized the media for their ‘constant negativity’ towards Cristiano Ronaldo, especially during the World Cup.
At the Santiago Bernabeu, Ozil spent three seasons as Ronaldo’s teammate before departing for Arsenal just as Los Blancos began to rule the Champions League.
After losing favor at Manchester United, the 37-year-old Ronaldo has dominated the news in recent months. In November, after giving an explosive interview to Piers Morgan, he and the Red Devils mutually terminated his contract.
Although there had been rumors of a falling out between the two, manager Fernando Santos dropped Ronaldo from Portugal’s World Cup round of 16 match against Switzerland for what he characterized as “tactical reasons.” Ronaldo has continued to draw attention throughout the tournament.
The persistent focus on Ronaldo has now aroused Ozil’s wrath, and he resorted to Twitter to lambast the media for their latest reportage.
“I really don’t get where this constant negativity from the press about Cristiano comes from… The Media is just trying to get clicks, and pundits who don’t have a career anymore just want to get attention with his big name and try to make him look bad,” Ozil wrote on social media.
“He is soon 38 years old – so what’s the surprise that he doesn’t score 50 goals a season anymore? Every football fan out there should be happy to have seen him playing world-class football for 20 years.
“I don’t think anyone from the new generation will be able to match his numbers again. He will forever be in his own category. Everyone should show more respect to one of the greatest athletes in sports history.”
In Ronaldo’s absence, Portugal defeated Switzerland 6-1 to secure a spot in the quarterfinals, propelled by hat-trick hero Goncalo Ramos, who took Ronaldo’s position in the starting lineup.