Arsenal player Mesut Ozil and Manchester City player Ilkay Gundogan posed for a picture with the authoritarian leader during a detour to London this year, which stirred a heat of criticism that had outshined Germany’s arrangements for the World Cup in Russia.
Jurgen Klopp feels that the controversy related to these two players has been blown out of proportion.
“This is a classic example of absolute misinformation and, of course, complete nonsense,” he said.
“In politics, little things have always been blown up and big things pushed away in order to continue. Normally, intelligent people tend to hold back because it is not easy to say the right thing. I would count myself [among those people] too. All those who have no idea are very loud in these conversations.
“I know Ilkay Gundogan very well, I know Emre Can and Nuri Sahin very well. I do not know Mesut so well, but I would like to take him home. I do not doubt these guys, at least about their loyalty to our homeland. The difference is that they just have one more thing [in their heritage]. Where is the problem? That’s beautiful.
“Cultural diversity, we all thought it was really cool around the 2006 World Cup. I saw these fantastic commercials where the parents of Gerald Asamoah and Mario Gomez had a barbecue party together.
“We all sighed for how great that works. And now two guys are seduced by politically quite intelligent people to have a photo, and then have relatively few opportunities to say what they want 100 per cent right.
“That’s why I find this discussion hypocritical. Bad things happened because people were not informed properly. Even the media should not create a buzz around something like this every day. Just cool off and see the people behind it.”
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