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Mesut Ozil has made his sentiments about his previous club Arsenal known following his retirement from football.
The former Arsenal No.10 revealed that he is rooting for them to win the Premier League title under Mikel Arteta this season.
After joining Arsenal in 2013 from Real Madrid, the 34-year-old scored 44 goals and contributed 79 assists in 254 matches.
Ozil’s Bitter Exit from Arteta’s Arsenal
Ozil’s exit in 2021 left a bitter taste in his mouth, as he had struggled for playing time and form under both Arteta and Unai Emery.
The former German international was completely cut from Arsenal’s plans for the 2020/21 season and did not make a single appearance before his contract was terminated in January.
He transferred to Turkish side Fenerbahce, where he scored nine goals in 26 matches.
Ozil announced his retirement from professional football this Wednesday, following a brief stint with Istanbul Basaksehir in the Turkish Super Lig.
Ozil on Arsenal: ‘They Deserve It’
When questioned about his time with the Gunners and their title push this season, Ozil offered a very honest and forthright response, demonstrating that he has no animosity toward his former team.
“The first years were very good. We played in the Champions League, we had a great team with great players and an incredible coach like Arsene Wenger,” Ozil said.
“After he left the club, many things changed for me,” he stated, “But I have no interest in adding fuel to the fire again.”
“Now I am relaxed and I wish the best to the Arsenal fans, who have always been very supportive of me. I would be happy for them if they could celebrate the Premier League title,” he added, “They deserve it.”
During his early years at the Emirates Stadium, Ozil developed an excellent rapport with the Arsenal fan base.
After registering three assists on his home debut against Stoke in August 2013, he became an instant fan favorite and continued to excel throughout his first season.
The German midfielder contributed directly to 21 goals in 40 matches as Arsenal won the FA Cup and placed fourth.
In each of Wenger’s first five seasons at Arsenal, the club qualified for the Champions League. But, after Wenger’s departure, the club’s performance declined.
Emery was unable to restore the Gunners’ confidence after Wenger, and it took Arteta over two years to instill his ideology into the Arsenal group.
After finishing sixth in the Premier League last season, Arteta’s squad is poised to win their first championship since 2004.
They are eight points ahead of second-place Manchester City, despite Pep Guardiola’s squad having a game in hand.
Ozil’s Retirement Announced Earlier This Week
Ozil hung up his boots earlier this week and issued an emotional social media statement.
“After thoughtful consideration, I’m announcing my immediate retirement from professional football,” it announced ,”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,” the statement read.
“It has been an amazing journey filled with unforgettable moments and emotions. I want to thank my clubs – Schalke, Werder Bremen, Real Madrid, Arsenal, Fenerbahce and Basaksehir – and the coaches who supported me, plus team-mates who have become friends,” it added.
“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.”
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