Mario Mandzukic has denied that his celebration after scoring for Bayern Munich against Nurnberg was a political message.
The striker says he is stunned by the reaction of some fans who have linked the salute to a court decision to release two Croatian generals who were charged with crimes against Serbia in the 1990s, with the 26-year-old adamant the two incidents are completely unrelated.
“I am stunned by what has been made out of that celebration,” he revealed through a club statement.
“I am a Croat and I share the happiness of my compatriots but it had nothing to do with politics. I only ran towards the terraces to greet our fans.”
Team-mate Xherdan Shaqiri was also part of the celebrations and the Switzerland international was equally quick to protest his innocence.
“I do not know about any general from Croatia. I just saw Mario and celebrated with him.”