Germany midfielder Ilkay Gundogan was in the spotlight again on Friday night as he was jeered once more by German supporters during their World Cup warm-up match against Saudi Arabia.
Gundogan was photographed along with Mesut Ozil with Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan last month at an event in London in which he caused anger by dedicating a shirt to Erdogan – describing him as “my president”.
Both players, who are of Turkish descent, were whistled by their own fans during the defeat in Austria last Saturday, prompting team manager Oliver Bierhoff to urge supporters to refrain from heckling them in Leverkusen on Friday.
“For all the irritation we have now, we are one team, also in Germany with our fans,” he said. “Sure, things took the wrong direction a bit. But we are now looking ahead. And that’s why I hope that everyone, even though maybe still annoyed, withholds their anger a bit.”
Gundogan and Ozil, who met German chancellor Angela Merkel during her visit to Germany’s pre-World Cup training camp in Italy, were whistled by sections of the travelling support during the friendly defeat in Austria last weekend.
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