Mesut Ozil, a former star for Real Madrid and Arsenal, has officially stated that he is retiring from professional football at the age of 34
Before transferring to Werder Bremen, where he won the DFB Pokal Cup and assisted the squad in reaching the 2009 UEFA Cup final, Ozil played for the youth team of his hometown club Schalke. Ozil then moved to Real Madrid, where he won the title and two Copa del Reys in 2012.
But once Cristiano Ronaldo rose to become one of the two finest players in the world, Ozil’s popularity as the best player in the world quickly began to crumble, and he left Spain for London’s Arsenal in 2013, where he spent the next eight years.
While at Arsenal, Ozil experienced both dramatic lows and periods of exclusion from the squad, performance-wise.
He spent his most recent years playing in Turkey, first for Istanbul Basaksehir, and later on, transferred over to Fenerbahce. Ozil was a member of the World Cup-winning Germany squad in 2014
He informed his fans this morning that he’s decided to retire from his professional career, after a rich career of playing for some of the world’s best clubs.
Over the course of his club career, Ozil made 598 appearances, including 159 for Real Madrid and 254 for Arsenal. In his professional career, he scored 98 goals, 44 of which were for Arsenal and 27 in Spain. He had 133 assists throughout his career, with 55 of those coming for Arsenal and 47 for Real Madrid.
In his emotional Twitter post, Ozil stated:
“Hello everyone, 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 FC, Fenerbahce, Basaksehir and the coaches who have 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 you will hear from me from time to time on my social media channels.
See you soon, Mesut.”