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Ex-Arsenal and Real Madrid midfielder, Mesut Ozil, has announced his immediate retirement from football at the age of 34. Ozil has been part of the İstanbul Başakşehir F.K. squad since 2022 but his time at the club has been blighted with injuries. With only eight appearances to his name this season, the iconic playmaker has decided to call it quits.
Announcing the decision via his Twitter account, Ozil said:
“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. 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, 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 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.”
Mesut Ozil is the only player in history who has been Top Assist Provider in Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, Champions League, Europa League, Euro Cup and World Cup. One of the most underrated and under appreciated players of our generation. pic.twitter.com/tygvfdGeJM
— Frank Khalid OBE (@FrankKhalidUK) February 15, 2023
A career to be proud of
Although his performances may have dipped towards the end of his career, there is no doubt that Mesut Ozil had an exceptional career. He first made a name for himself on the world stage at the 2010 World Cup as part of a young German side that made it to the semi-finals.
His performances in South Africa earned him a dream move to Real Madrid at the age of 22 and he instantly became a key part of Jose Mourinho’s side. He was integral as los blancos managed to wrestle the La Liga title off arguably the best club side in football history, Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona, in 2012. He also won the Copa Del Ray and the Spanish Super Cup during his time in Madrid.
In 2013 he made a shock move to Arsenal as Arsene Wenger looked to build one final title-winning team before he retired. Although Ozil never managed to win the Premier League with Arsenal, he won four FA Cups at the club.
The best moment of Ozil’s career, however, came at the 2014 World Cup when he was a key cog in the German side that won the competition. In total, he won 92 caps for his country and it would have been more had things not turned sour in 2018 when he announced his immediate retirement from international football citing “racism and disrespect” over his Turkish roots.
In total, Ozil won ten trophies for club and country throughout his glittering career and will be remembered as one of the best playmakers of his generation.