Mesut Ozil announces retirement at age of 34


Mesut Ozil, who represented the likes of Arsenal, Real Madrid and Germany, has called time on his playing career due to injury problems.

Former Arsenal and Real Madrid midfielder Mesut Ozil has announced his retirement from football at the age of 34.

The 92-capped Germany international, who won the World Cup with his country in 2014, has also represented Schalke, Werder Bremen, Fenerbahce and Istanbul Basaksehir during his 17-year career.

Ozil was under contract with Turkish side Basaksehir until the end of the season, but a series of injury problems called time on his playing career.

“After careful consideration, I am announcing my immediate retirement from professional football,” he wrote in a statement on his personal Twitter account on Wednesday.

“I have had the privilege of being a professional footballer for almost 17 years now and I feel incredibly grateful for this opportunity.

“But in the last weeks and months, when we have also suffered some injuries, it has become increasingly clear that it is time to leave the big football scene.

Ozil began his career at Schalke before moving to second division side Werder Bremen, where his impressive form over three seasons led to a move to Madrid.

In three campaigns at the Santiago Bernabeu, the German playmaker won the LaLiga, Copa del Rey and Supercopa de Espana titles.

He joined Arsenal in a big-money deal in September 2013 and was arguably the best number 10 in world football for a period of time.

Indeed, the 146 chances Ozil created in 2015-16 remain the most ever in a single Premier League campaign.

After seven-and-a-half years in north London, during which he won four FA Cups, Ozil joined Fenerbahce on a free transfer after his contract with Arsenal was terminated.

Ozil spent two very unsuccessful seasons with Fenerbahce before moving to Basaksehir, where he made just four league appearances this season.

“It’s been an amazing journey full of unforgettable moments and emotions,” Ozil added in a statement.

“I want to thank my clubs – Schalke 04, Werder Bremen, Real Madrid, Arsenal FC, Fenerbahce, Basaksehir and the coaches who have supported me, plus my teammates who have become friends.

“Special thanks to my family members and my closest friends. They have been a part of my journey since day one and have given me so much love and support, through good times and bad.”

“Thank you to all my fans who showed me so much love regardless of the circumstances and regardless of which club I represented.

“I am now looking forward to all that lies ahead with my beautiful wife Amine and my two beautiful daughters Eda and Ella – but you can be sure you will hear about me from time to time on my social media channels. See you soon, Mesut!”

At international level, Ozil started all seven of Germany’s matches in their triumphant 2014 World Cup campaign.

He has scored 23 goals in 92 appearances, the last of which came against South Korea at the 2018 World Cup.

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