Mesut Ozil retires as ex-Arsenal playmaker issues emotional statement

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Mesut Ozil has confirmed he has decided to retire from professional football with immediate effect following his recent battle with injuries. The 34-year-old, whose career highlights include winning the World Cup with Germany and La Liga title with Real Madrid, has issued an emotional statement confirming the regrettable decision.

Ozil has been playing for Istanbul Basaksehir in the Turkish Super Lig having joined the club from city rivals Fenerbahce last July but having only managed just four top-flight appearances this season, he has opted to call it quits.

The former Germany international addressed supporters on his Instagram, writing: “Hello everyone, after thoughtful consideration, I’m announcing my immediate retirement from professional football.

“I’ve had the privilege to be a professional footballer 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 clear that it’s time to leave the big stage of football.

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A post shared by Mesut Özil (@m10_official)

“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, Fenerbahce, Basaksehir and the coaches who supported me, plus team-mates who have become friends.

“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 all to 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 and my beautiful wife, Amine, and my two beautiful daughters, Eda and Ela – but you can be sure you will hear from me from time to time on my social media channels. See you soon, Mesut!”

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Ozil will be remembered for his vision, creative passes and unique bounce-shot which involved shooting the ball into the ground so that it bounced over advancing goalkeepers.

The attacking midfielder first made a name for himself in the Bundesliga with Schalke and Werder Bremen before catching the eye at the 2010 World Cup with Germany, earning himself a move to Real Madrid.

After winning the 2011/12 La Liga title under Jose Mourinho, he would later sign for Arsenal in the summer of 2013 for a club-record fee of £42.5million – making him the most-expensive German player of all-time.

While the record has since been smashed by Kai Havertz following his £72m switch to Chelsea from Bayer Leverkusen, Ozil will be remembered as one of Germany’s finest exports having helped Die Mannschaft win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Ozil won four FA Cups during his time with Arsenal having also won the DFB-Pokal with Bremen and the Copa del Rey with Los Blancos.

However, his career has sadly ended on a sour note following a turbulent finish to his time at Arsenal in which he was cast aside by head coach Unai Emery before the Gunners offloaded the player to Fenerbahce on a free transfer in January 2021.

Ozil called time on his international career in 2018 following a series of political controversies but he featured 92 times for his country during a nine-year stretch after making his debut back in 2009.

He will leave behind a legacy that sees him recognised as one of the finest playmakers of his era having previously been described by former team-mate Phillip Lahm as a “dream for strikers” with the best vision the ex-Germany captain has ever seen.

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