Former Arsenal, Real Madrid and Germany star Mesut Ozil announces retirement from professional football

Former Arsenal and Real Madrid star Mesut Ozil has announced his retirement from professional football, aged 34.

Ozil came through the youth team of his local club Schalke before moving to Werder Bremen where he won the DFB Pokal Cup and helped the team reach the final of the 2009 UEFA Cup.

A move to Real Madrid followed, where Ozil won the league in 2012 as well as the Copa del Rey twice.

However, he fell out of favour following the ascent of Cristiano Ronaldo to one of the two best players in the world and in 2013 he moved to Arsenal, where he spent the next eight years.

Ozil’s time at Arsenal was mixed, with some extreme highs as well as being frozen out of the team at times.

He spent the last few years in Turkey, first with Fenerbahce and then Istanbul Basaksehir. Ozil was part of the Germany team that won the 2014 World Cup.

He confirmed his retirement in a Twitter post on Wednesday morning.

“Hello everyone,” began Ozil.

“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.”

Ozil retires having made 598 appearances across his club career, 159 for Madrid and 254 for Arsenal. He scored 98 goals in his career, of which 44 came for Arsenal and 27 in Spain.

Over his career he registered 133 assists, 55 coming for Arsenal and 47 for Madrid.

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