Mesut Ozil has announced his retirement from professional football, aged 34.
The former Arsenal and Real Madrid midfielder has called time on his career with immediate effect, after a series of fitness issues hindered his impact at current club Istanbul Basaksehir. The German has made just eight appearances for the Turkish side since signing from Fenerbahce last summer and has decided to bring an end to his career.
“Hello everyone, after thoughtful consideration, I’m announcing my immediate retirement from professional football,” Ozil wrote on social media.
“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, Werder Bremen, Real Madrid, Arsenal, Fenerbahce, Basaksehir and the coaches who supported me, plus teammates 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.”
Ozil’s career began at Schalke, before taking in spells with Werder Bremen, Real Madrid, Arsenal, Fenerbahce and Istanbul Basaksehir. He won 92 caps for the German national side, scoring 23 goals, and formed part of the squad that won the World Cup in 2014.
Ozil became Arsenal’s then-record signing after arriving in a £42.5m deal from Real Madrid in 2013 and went on to make 254 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners.
He won the FA Cup on four occasions with the north Londoners, before departing in January 2021 following a fall-out with manager Mikel Arteta.
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