Mesut Ozil, the former Arsenal midfielder and Germany international, has announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 34.
Ozil, who had been playing for Istanbul Basaksehir in the Turkish top flight, made only seven appearances for the club due to injury problems, mainly related to his back. He had moved to Basaksehir from Fenerbahce, where he had spent 18 months.
Ozil confirmed the news of his retirement in a statement on Instagram, stating that he had made the decision after careful consideration.
‘Hello everyone, After thoughtful consideration, l’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.’
Ozil left the Gunners in January 2021 having been frozen out by current boss Mikel Arteta, but in a statement he showed no ill feeling towards his former club where he won four FA Cups after signing for £42.5million from Real Madrid to much fanfare in 2013.
‘It has been an amazing journey filled with unforgettable moments and emotions,’ he added.
‘I want to thank my clubs – Schalke, Werder Bremen, Real Madrid, Arsenal, 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, 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 that you will hear from me from time to time on my social media channels.
‘See you soon, Mesut!’