Mesut Ozil has invited the controversial Turkey leader Recep Erdogan to his wedding to his stunning fiancée Amine Gulse.
The 30-year-old’s last meeting with the Turkish president led to the midfielder being lambasted online to the point that he retired from international football.
Ozil has Turkish heritage and was accused of endorsing the 65-year-old politician’s bid for re-election – despite regularly insisting that they only spoke about football.
After the pictures emerged, the midfielder was then booed in all of Germany’s World Cup games as the defending champions tumbled out of the group stage.
The following month Ozil broke his silence on the matter to officially retire from international football after accusing DFB president Reinhard Grindel of racism.
Grindel had called for the midfield maestro to be axed from the squad before the tournament started following the picture – which also featured Man City’s Ilkay Gundogan and Everton’s Cenk Tosun.
He then publicly blamed Ozil for Germany’s failure in Russia, to which the Gunners ace accused the German FA chief of “belittling” and “patronising” him.
Ozil later revealed he was called a “goat-f***er” by a German politician and that he and his family received hate mail and threatening phone calls for the incident.
In a lengthy three-part message posted on social media, he said: “I will no longer stand for being a scapegoat for his incompetence and inability to do his job properly.
“In the eyes of Grindel and his supporters, I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose.
“Despite paying taxes in Germany, donating facilities to German schools and winning the World Cup with Germany in 2014, I am still not accepted in society. I am treated as being ‘different’.
“Are there criteria for being fully German that I do not fit? My friends Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose are not referred to as German-Polish, so why am I German-Turkish? Is it because it is Turkey? Is it because I’m Muslim?”
Ozil and his fiancée, who has Turkish relations herself, regularly frequent the country on their getaways where president Erdogan remains a highly divisive figure.
Erdogan – a former semi-professional footballer himself – has been accussed of “autocratic tendencies, corruption and extravagance” by his critics, according to CNN.
Ozil recently aimed a sly dig at his former team-mates Mats Hummels and Thomas Muller by only singling out Jerome Boateng for praise following the three’s international retirement.
The snub threatens to open up old wounds from Ozil’s falling out with the national team which saw him quit after last summer’s World Cup.
Ozil’s decision to praise only Boateng could hint that he feels he didn’t get enough support from either Muller or Hummels – players he won the World Cup alongside in 2014 – when he stepped down from the German team last year.