Wednesday, 07 June

Mesut Ozil retires

Sports News
Mesut Ozil

Former Arsenal, Real Madrid and Germany midfielder Mesut Ozil has retired from football at the age of 34.

Ozil won nine trophies during his club career including four FA Cups and the Spanish La Liga title in 2012.

 

He also won 92 caps for Germany and was part of the team that lifted the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

"It has been an amazing journey filled with unforgettable moments and emotions," Ozil said in a statement on social media.

"I've had the privilege to be a professional football player for almost 17 years now and I feel incredibly thankful for the opportunity.

"But in recent weeks and months, having also suffered some injuries, it's become more and more clear that it's time to leave the big stage of football."

Ozil began his career at Schalke and Werder Bremen before moving to Real Madrid in the summer of 2010, winning La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Spanish Super Cup.

He joined Arsenal for a then club record fee of £42.4m in September 2013, winning back-to-back FA Cups in his first two seasons before being named player of the season in his third, and then winning the cup again in 2017.

The playmaker became the highest-paid player in the club's history in January 2018, signing a three-and-a-half-year deal on about £350,000 a week before tax, but fell out of favour under new Arsenal boss Unai Emery.

After Emery's dismissal in December 2019 Ozil returned to the side under interim boss Freddie Ljungberg and kept his place under new permanent manager Mikel Arteta, before the coronavirus pandemic forced a three-month suspension of the top flight in March 2020.

Ozil did not play for the club when football resumed in June, although he would claim a fourth FA Cup winners' medal when the Gunners beat Chelsea in the 2020 final.

He joined Fenerbahce on a free transfer in January 2021 but had his contract cancelled by mutual consent in July 2022 when he joined Istanbul Basaksehir, where injuries limited him to just eight appearances.

Ozil could have played for Germany or Turkey at international level but chose to play for the country of his birth.

He was named man of the match as Germany Under-21s beat England in the European U21 Championship final in June 2009, having already made his debut for the senior side aged 20 earlier that year.

Ozil was named Germany player of the year five times and was part of the side that reached the semi-finals of the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012, as well as winning the 2014 World Cup.

 

However, he retired from international football in 2018, citing the "racism and disrespect" he faced in Germany over his Turkish roots after he was criticised for being photographed with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Source: BBC