Mesut Ozil on shirt swap: 'Seriously guys, is there nothing more important?'

Arsenal midfielder baffled at criticism

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The Independent Football

Mesut Ozil was guilty of the cardinal sin of football during Arsenal's match in Monaco - the half-time shirt swap. However the German is perplexed as to why it caused such a fuss.

The Gunner was seen trading shirts with opponent Geoffrey Kondogbia as the teams headed towards the tunnel at the Stade Louis II after the first 45 minutes.

The gesture, which has its roots in South American football and is common place in some parts of the world, was heavily criticised by pundits and fans on social media.

However, Ozil was baffled by the reaction.

"Geoffrey Kondogbia asked me for my shirt and I wanted to do him a favour," the World Cup winner told Sky Sports Germany.

"Maybe I should have given him the shirt in the tunnel. But seriously guys, is there nothing more important to discuss for a knock-out game than a shirt swap?"

Ozil was excellent in the Round of 16 second-leg tie, contributing to a 2-0 Arsenal victory on the night. That scoreline levelled the tie but the Gunners exited the Champions League on away goals.