Mesut Ozil retires at 34; World Cup winner won four FA Cups with Arsenal
Enigmatic and undeniably gifted, World Cup winner Mesut Ozil has called time on his playing career at age 34.
Ozil joined Istanbul Basaksehir last summer but appeared just seven times for the first team, totallling 142 minutes due to continued back troubles.
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The 92-times capped German international is best known for his time at Arsenal and Real Madrid but came through the youth ranks at Schalke before breaking onto the international stage with Werder Bremen.
Ozil registered 54 assists across three La Liga seasons with Real Madrid, and came within one assist of Thierry Henry’s Premier League record when he set up 19 goals in the 2015-16 season.
He finished his Arsenal career with 44 goals and 79 assists in 254 appearances.
Here’s part of his announcement, from Instagram:
“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 won the 2014 World Cup with Germany and scored in the 2010 and 2014 editions of football’s top international showcase. He claimed four FA Cups with Arsenal, the German Cup with Werder Bremen, and Copa del Rey and La Liga honors with Real.
Outspoken on social issues, Ozil was the subject of some controversy over statements denouncing Chinese internment camps and the treatment of Uyghurs in the country.
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Mesut Ozil retires at 34; World Cup winner won four FA Cups with Arsenal originally appeared on NBCSports.com