Mesut Özil open to Rio Olympics, but German coach dismisses

Mesut Ozil
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Arsenal star Mesut Özil would oblige if asked to play for Germany at the Rio Olympics, but senior national team coach Joachim Löw said it was unlikely, according to German press agency DPA.

“I can hardly imagine that it is possible given the schedule,” Löw told Sport Bild, according to a DPA translation.

Özil may have Euro 2016 on his slate from June 10-July 10 in France. The Olympic soccer tournament is Aug. 4-20. Arsenal’s first match of the 2015-16 Premier League season was Aug. 9.

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.”

Özil was unable to play in previous Olympics because Germany did not qualify for Beijing 2008 or London 2012.

Two of his teammates from the Brazil 2014 World Cup triumph, defenders Philipp Lahm and Per Mertesacker, have retired from international play but said in June they would consider coming back for the Olympics, after Germany qualified.

Jurgen Klinsmann’s Olympic history