After almost two decades of mesmerizing us with his magic on the field, former Arsenal and Real Madrid playmaker Mesut Ozil has confirmed that he is retiring from professional football at the age of 34. Ozil’s career saw him win major titles with many top clubs, and he has earned several achievements over the years.
Ozil’s announcement comes after a brief stint with Istanbul Basaksehir, a club he joined in 2022 but only managed to make seven appearances for.
His career has been a glittering one, having won the La Liga title with Real Madrid in 2012 and four FA Cup titles with Arsenal between 2014 and 2020. He was also part of the German squad at 2010, 2014, and 2018 World Cups and scored 23 goals in 92 appearances for his country.
Özil began his club career in Germany with Schalke and Werder Bremen before spending three years at Real Madrid and eight with Arsenal. He then moved to Turkey to play for Fenerbahçe and, most recently, İstanbul Başakşehir. The German midfielder is known for his exceptional passing and playmaking skills, recording at least 20 assists in his three seasons with Madrid.
At Arsenal, Özil’s 19 assists in the Premier League during the 2015/16 season is only one shy of the league record held by Thierry Henry and Kevin De Bruyne. In his time at the club, he scored 44 goals in 254 appearances but was frozen out of Mikel Arteta’s squad in his final season, despite being one of the team’s highest-paid earners.
Özil’s international career was also noteworthy, with him playing a significant role in Germany’s World Cup win in 2014. He was named Germany’s player of the year on five occasions and played in all of his country’s World Cup games in 2010 and 2014.
Ozil’s Retirement Statement and Response
Thank you ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Aqr4pB5SI2
— Mesut Özil (@M10) March 22, 2023
In a statement posted on social media, Özil expressed gratitude for his almost 17-year career, saying, “I’ve had the privilege to be a professional football player for almost 17 years now, and I feel incredibly thankful for the opportunity.” However, he added that recent injuries and reflection had led him to the decision to retire from the big stage of football.
He also thanked his fans, who have supported him no matter which club he represented.
Özil’s retirement announcement has been met with sadness from his fans, who took to social media to praise his achievements and express their admiration for him.
Thanks for the memories – wishing you all the best in your retirement, Mesut ❤️ pic.twitter.com/sqDFl3esj2
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) March 22, 2023
His former clubs, Arsenal and Real Madrid, also paid tribute to the midfielder, with Arsenal tweeting, “Thank you for the memories, Mesut” and Real Madrid posting, “Following @M10’s announcement that he has retired from professional football, Real Madrid C.F. wants to show its appreciation, its admiration and its affection for one of our great players. Good luck, dear Mesut, to you and your family.”
Following @M10’s announcement that he has retired from professional football, Real Madrid C.F. wants to show its appreciation, its admiration and its affection for one of our great players. Good luck, dear Mesut, to you and your family. pic.twitter.com/jgQWam82Iw
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) March 22, 2023
Despite retiring from professional football, Ozil promised his fans that they would hear from him from time to time on his social media channels. He also looks forward to spending time with his wife and two daughters.
Mesut Ozil leaves a lasting legacy in the football world, and his contributions to both Arsenal and Real Madrid will never be forgotten.