Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos says he was branded a Nazi by some on social media after he criticized how Mesut Ozil announced his retirement from the German national team, Goal reported.
Ozil announced after the 2018 World Cup that he would no longer be available for international duty, claiming that he was the victim of racism because of his Turkish ancestry.
Kroos said that Ozil deserved a "better departure" but felt that the manner in which he retired was "not in order".
Kroos said many jumped to calling him a Nazi because of his looks.
He said in an Instagram Live chat with Germany president Frank-Walter Steinmeier: "After the 2018 World Cup I said that I did not like the retirement of Mesut Ozil and the manner in which he did it.
"And then I was directly a Nazi for a lot of people: blond, blue eyes … everything fit for a lot of people.
"I managed to overcome it, anyone can hide behind a fake profile and then insult other people without anything to stop them."
Ozil faced a lot of criticism as Germany crashed out of the World Cup at the group stage and he then announced he would no longer play for the national team.
The attacking midfielder, who made 92 appearances for Die Mannschaft, went on to criticize the German football association (DFB) and its president Reinhard Grindel.
Kroos insisted that Ozil was wrong to accuse the DFB and the Germany team of harboring racist attitudes.
He told Bild: "Basically Mesut is a deserved international and as a player, he deserved a better departure. But the way he resigned was not in order.
"The parts in his statement that are rightly addressed are unfortunately overshadowed by the significantly higher amount of nonsense.
"I think he knows very well that racism within the national team and the DFB does not exist."