Our pals over at OlympicTalk have an intriguing story out of Germany that claims Mesut Ozil would not turn down an invitation to play for his nation at the 2016 Olympics.
His manager, Joachim Low, doesn’t see how it’s possible given Germany’s likely participation in the Euro 2016 tournament the same summer after a congested season of international club play at Arsenal.
Low can “hardly imagine” it’s possible given the Euros run from June 10-July 10, the Olympics from Aug. 4-20, and the Premier League opening in early August (assuming the 26-year-old Ozil remains with the Gunners, of course).
The German Olympic team coach is not Löw but Horst Hrubesch. Olympic soccer teams can include no more than three players over the age of 23.
“Should [Hrubesch] ask me, I would not say no,” Özil, 26, told Sport Bild, according to an ESPN FC translation. “I would love to take part in the Olympic Games in Rio and chase the medals with our lads. The Olympic Games would certainly be a real career highlight.”
We’d love to see as much firepower as possible in the Olympics… and the Premier League. This will be a dodgy issue for both Germany and the world of Gooners.
The German men haven’t medaled since a 1988 Bronze in Seoul (one with Jurgen Klinsmann on the roster), and that was West Germany. Unified Germany hasn’t medaled since 1964 in Tokyo (another Bronze). East Germany won gold in 1976.