Mesut Ozil has announced his retirement from football at the age of 34, effective immediately.
The former Arsenal midfielder and Germany international had joined Turkish top division club Istanbul Basaksehir in the summer but had only made eight appearances due to injury difficulties.
Due to back concerns, the playmaker has only played 187 minutes of football this season after joining from Fenerbahce after 18 months.
Mesut Ozil announced the news on Instagram, writing, ‘Hi everyone, After serious thought, I’ve chosen to step away from professional football.
‘I’ve had the honor of being a professional football player for about 17 years now, and I’m really grateful for the chance. Yet, after suffering some injuries in recent weeks and months, it’s become increasingly evident that it’s time to exit the major stage of football.
‘It has been an incredible trip with of great memories and feelings. I’d want to thank my teams – Schalke, Werder Bremen, Real Madrid, Arsenal, Fenerbahce, Basaksehir, and the coaches who helped me, as well as teammates who have become friends – for their support.
‘My family and closest friends deserve special recognition. They have been a part of my journey since the beginning and have shown me so much love and support in both good and terrible times.
‘Thank you to all my fans who have showed me so much love regardless of the circumstances or the team I was representing.
‘Now I’m looking forward to all that is ahead of me with my lovely wife, Amine, and my two beautiful kids, Eda and Ela – but you can be sure that you will hear from me on my social media channels from time to time.’
‘See you again, Mesut Ozil!’
Mesut Ozil: The Assist King
Mesut Ozil played 254 times for Arsenal, winning four FA Cups, and also 159 times for Real Madrid, winning La Liga and the Copa del Rey; the 34-year-old has gained 92 games for Germany, scoring 23 goals and capturing the World Cup in 2014.