Ex-Arsenal star Mesut Ozil retires as fans say ‘thought he quit years ago’

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    Mesut Ozil has officially retired from football, bringing the curtain down on an illustrious 18-year career.

    The ex-Arsenal and Real Madrid man released a statement on social media on Wednesday, admitting that it was "the right time" to leave the big stage.

    He tweeted: "After thoughtful consideration, I'm announcing my immediate retirement from professional football. I've had the privilege to be a professional football player for almost 17 years now and I feel incredibly thankful for the opportunity.

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    "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.

    "It has been an amazing journey filled with unforgettable moments and emotions. I want to thank my clubs – Schalke 04, Werder Bremen, Real Madrid, Arsenal FC, Fenerbahçe, Basaksehir and the coaches who supported me, plus team-mates who have become friends.

    What's your favourite memory of Mesut Ozil? Let us know in the comments section.

    "Special thanks must go to my family members and my closest friends. They have been a part of my journey from day one and have given me so much love and support, through the good times and the bad.

    "Thank you to all my fans who have shown me so much love no matter the circumstances and no matter which club I was representing.

    "Now I'm looking forward to everything that is in front of me with my beautiful wife, Amine, and my two beautiful daughters, Eda and Ela – but you can be sure that you will hear from me from time to time on my social media channels."

    Ozil had most recently been playing in Turkey after leaving Arsenal to join Fenerbahce just over two years ago. He has called time on his illustrious career following a brief spell with Istanbul Basaksehir, who he joined in July.

    The 2014 World Cup winner left the Emirates under a cloud in 2021 after falling out of favour under Mikel Arteta. Ozil made 254 appearances for the Gunners after joining from Real Madrid on Deadline Day in 2013, helping the north Londoners to win three FA Cups and becoming a club hero in the process.

    However, the former La Liga winner with Los Blancos often faced accusations of not trying and underperforming during his time in north London, particularly towards the end of his spell under Unai Emery and Arteta.

    Once the relationship turned sour, Ozil left to move to Turkey, where he later faced similar troubles. His contract at Fenerbahce was terminated in July 2022, while he latterly made only seven appearances for new club Istanbul Basaksehir.

    Despite the troubled end to his football career, Ozil will go down as one of the most naturally-gifted players of the last decade or so, with his contributions lauded on social media following his retirement.

    One person wrote: "Mesut Ozil at Real Madrid, one of the best players you’ll ever see in their prime. Happy retirement you legend." As someone else said: "He was something else man, the greatest playmaker of all time. Mesut Ozil, the legend of football."

    A third added: "Ozil retired? Wow. Guy was different gravy. Gutted he went to arsenal instead of us. On his day he was the best in the world." While an Arsenal fan said: "I still remember how happy I was when arsenal signed Ozil, thought it's not ended well but he's still one of the best player we've ever had."

    Others, however, were less complimentary, including one who wrote: "Mesut Ozil is the most overrated Arsenal player of all time. His ego was insufferable." Plenty of others joked: "Find the news that Mesut Ozil has retired quite surprising. I thought he retired when he left Arsenal."


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