Former Real Madrid and Arsenal star Mesut Ozil announces retirement from football at the age of 34

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The former Arsenal and Real Madrid star has called time on an illustrious career spanning almost 17 years.

Mesut Ozil has announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 34.

The midfielder, who had most recently been playing for Turkish club Basaksehir, announced his decision on social media, stating that “it has become more and more clear that it’s time to leave the big stage of football.”

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Ozil, who began his career at Schalke 04 in 2006, rose to prominence during his time at Werder Bremen before earning a high-profile transfer to Real Madrid in 2010. He went on to win numerous titles with the Spanish giants, including the La Liga title in 2012, before joining Arsenal in 2013 and winning the World Cup with Germany a year later.

During his seven years at Arsenal, Ozil established himself as one of the most creative and talented playmakers in the Premier League, helping the Gunners win four FA Cups. However, his time at the club ended on a sour note, with Ozil becoming increasingly marginalised under manager Mikel Arteta and ultimately leaving for Fenerbahce in January 2021.

In his retirement statement, Ozil expressed his gratitude to the fans, teammates, and coaches who had supported him throughout his career.

“After thoughtful consideration, I’m announced my immediate retirement from professional football,” he wrote in a post on Twitter. “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, its become more and more clear that its time to leave the big stage of football.

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“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, 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.”

Ozil’s retirement marks the end of an era for the traditional no.10 in football, with the midfielder having been one of the standout players in that position for over a decade.

His departure will undoubtedly leave a void, but his legacy as one of the most talented and creative players of his generation is assured.

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