Ozil: ‘I felt for Bukayo Saka’

Former Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil empathised with Bukayo Saka, saying he has ‘respect’ for the youngster following his penalty miss against Italy. The 19-year-old stepped up to take England’s last penalty in the EURO 2020 final but was unable to convert his spot kick.

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

“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 a hundred 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.”