Ozil predicts 'great future' for ex-Arsenal teammate Saka after courageous penalty

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Mesut Ozil has told former Arsenal teammate Bukayo Saka to stay strong in the face of racism.

19-year-old Saka missed the decisive penalty in England's Euro 2020 final shootout loss to Italy and was subjected to racist abuse on social media following the game.

"I felt very much for Bukayo," said Ozil. "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."

Asked if he has any advice for the Saka, Sancho and Rashford, Ozil said: "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."

And Ozil is confident his former teammate has a bright future ahead of him.

"Bukayo is blessed with a talent that not many have," said Ozil. "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.

"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."

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