Former Arsenal, Real Madrid and Germany midfielder Mesut Özil retires from football

The former Arsenal and Real Madrid midfielder Mesut Özil has announced his retirement at the age of 34.

The 92-time Germany international and 2014 World Cup winner had been playing for Istanbul Basaksehir in Turkey, but he has now made the decision to terminate his contract and call time on his career after injuries limited him to just eight appearances this season. He left Arsenal in 2021 having fallen out of favour with boss Mikel Arteta, joining Fenerbahce where he stayed for 18 months until last summer.

He wrote on social media: “Hello everyone, after thoughtful consideration, I’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.

“It has been an amazing journey filled with unforgettable moments and emotions. I want to thank my clubs – Schalke, Werder Bremen, Real Madrid, Arsenal, Fenerbahce, Basaksehir and the coaches who supported me, plus teammates 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.”

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