Özil, world champion in 2014, stops playing soccer immediately due to injuries
Mesut Özil is quitting soccer with immediate effect. The 92-time Germany international played only four games in Turkey this season with Istanbul Basaksehir.
The 34-year-old midfielder announced his farewell on Instagram. “In recent weeks and months I have suffered from some injuries. As a result, it has become clear to me that it is time to stop.”
For the past seventeen years, Özil played successively for Schalke 04, Werder Bremen, Real Madrid, Arsenal, Fenerbahçe and Basaksehir. For a player with such a resume, he won remarkably few awards: one national title, six national cups and five supercups.
World champion in 2014
But as an international, the playmaker won the biggest prize of all. At the 2014 World Cup, he played in every match, including the final won against Argentina.
After the 2018 World Cup, in which defending champion Germany was eliminated in the group stage already, Özil abruptly ended his international career. He felt discriminated against by the German league.
“In his eyes I am a German when we win, but an immigrant when we lose,” Özil said of DFB president Reinhard Grindel. Before the tournament, Özil, like fellow player Ilkay Gündogan, had been discredited for posing with Turkish President Erdogan.
Özil scores at 2014 World Cup