Germany World Cup winner Mesut Ozil has announced his immediate retirement from football.
The 34-year-old has decided to call time on a glittering playing career which saw him play for several of European football’s biggest sides.
He began his career at Schalke before heading to Werder Bremen. After a impressing with Germany at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Ozil earned a move to Real Madrid and became a star name under Jose Mourinho.
Following the signing of Gareth Bale, Ozil was deemed surplus to requirement in Madrid and he joined Arsenal in a club-record deal.
In 2014, he played a pivotal role as Germany won the FIFA World Cup, beating Argentina 1-0 in the final.
Ozil finished his career in Turkey – he is a third generation Turkish-German – with Fenerbahce and most recently Istanbul Basaksehir.
In a statement on social media, Ozil said: “Hello everyone. After thoughtful consideration, I’m announcing my 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 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, throught the good times and the bad.
“Thank you to all my fans who have shown me so much love no matter what 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.
“See you soon, Mesut!”
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