Mesut Ozil: ex-Real Madrid and Arsenal star announces retirement

2014 World Cup winner and German international Mesut Ozil has announced his retirement from football.

One of the premium creative players of the 2010s, Ozil’s glittering career saw stints in Germany, Spain, England, and in Turkey. However, he has now decided to hang up his boots at the age of 34.

Mesut Ozil shared his retirement statement with fans via a post on social media.

“After thoughtful consideration, I’m announcing my immediate retirement from professional football,” wrote the German international. “I’ve had the privilege to be a pro football player for almost 17 years now and I feel incredibly thankful for the opportunity.

“But in recent weeks and months, having also suffered more 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, Fenerbahce, Basaksehir, and the coaches who supported me, plus teammates who have become friends.”

After thanking his family, friends, and fans, Ozil signed off with his future plan.

“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 on my social media channels.”

With this announcement, Ozil brings down the curtain on a brilliant career.

Mesut Ozil: career retrospective after news of his retirement

Having spent time at various youth academies in Germany, Ozil made his professional debut with FC Schalke 04. He played two seasons with the Gelsenkirchen-based side before joining Werder Bremen in 2008.

At Bremen, Ozil established himself as an impactful attacking midfielder – although he was productive from the left-hand side, too. He provided 15 assists in his first full season with the club, also winning Bundesliga player of the month in September 2008.

The following season, the German emerged as a key piece in the Bremen team, getting nine goals and 16 assists. This steered his side to a third-place finish and Champions League football for 2010/11.

In addition, Ozil’s great performances earned him a place in Germany’s 2010 World Cup squad. Here, the midfielder started every game as Germany finished third in South Africa. Ozil’s impressive performances were enough to convince Real Madrid to sign him that same summer.

Real and Arsenal

As soon as he arrived at the Bernabeu, Ozil immediately became a cog in their high-powered attack. He continued his streak of achieving 15+ league assists in each season with 19 in each of his first two campaigns in Spain. Ozil then followed this up with 16 in 2012/13.

The German international was fundamental in Jose Mourinho’s 2011/12 record-breaking side. This team scored a staggering 121 goals on their way to the La Liga title, with Ozil feeding the likes of Ronaldo and Benzema countless chances.

Despite this, Los Blancos still allowed Ozil to leave Madrid and join Arsenal in 2013. He won his first silverware for the Gunners in 2013/14, when Arsenal beat Hull to lift the FA Cup.

Meanwhile, on the international stage, Ozil played in every game as Germany triumphed in the 2014 World Cup. He scored once in the tournament, a crucial goal in Die Mannschaft’s extra-time win over Algeria.

When he headed back to club football, the midfield maestro won three more FA Cups with the North London side, in 2015, 2017, and 2020. Arguably, though, Ozil’s best season with Arsenal was 2015/16. He had 19 Premier League assists in that campaign, just one shy of Thierry Henry’s single-season record of 20.

Moving to Turkey

Mesut Ozil joined Fenerbahce in January 2021 after his relationship with Arsenal soured. He completed two seasons with the Turkish giants, where he made 37 appearances. This saw Ozil add nine goals and three assists onto his career tallies of 114 and 222 respectively.

His last club was Istanbul Basaksehir, where injuries sadly limited him to just seven appearances.

Mesut Ozil enters retirement with a legacy as one of this generation’s best passers. His brilliant technique and footballing IQ wowed fans across Europe, whilst bringing success to many teams.

Featured image credit: Getty