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Former Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil retires from Professional football at 34

Mesut Ozil has announced his retirement from football at 34, ending an illustrious career on the pitch.

The former Arsenal midfielder announced the decision on his social media. The Gunners subsequently wished him good luck.

Ozil has been playing in the Turkish top flight for Istanbul Basaksehir since joining them last summer. The playmaker signed a one-year deal with an option for another year.

However, the stint has not gone according to plans, and Ozil has decided to retire due to recurring injuries. The former German international has only made eight appearances since the move.

A statement on social media said: “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 has become more and more clear that it is 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 FC, Fenerbahce, Basaksehir and the coaches who supported me, plus team-mates who have become friends.”

Ozil broke through at Schalke 04 before moving to Werder Bremen for €5 million in 2011.

He established himself on the world stage at the 2010 World Cup. He was sublime for Die Mannschaft and was among the initial nominees for the Golden Ball following his performances.

Ozil joined Real Madrid and began to make his name as one of the best playmakers of his generation. He finished his first season in Spain with 25 assists.

The following season, he helped his side to win La Liga, finishing as assist leader domestically. He led the assist statistics again in the 2012/13 season.

Ozil joined Arsenal ahead of the 2013/14 season with much fanfare surrounding his arrival. He helped the club win the FA Cup four times during his stay.

However, the club forced him out unceremoniously. He also fell out with the German Football Association (DFB), retiring after the 2018 World Cup.

Ozil returned to his native Turkey, playing for Fenerbahce first before joining the Grey Owls eight months ago.

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