2014 FIFA World Cup winner Mesut Özil has announced his retirement from professional football. “I had the privilege of being a professional footballer for 17 years and I feel incredibly grateful to have had this opportunity,” the 34-year-old wrote in a message to his more than 50 million followers on Twitter and Instagram on Wednesday. Özil most recently played for Turkish side Başakşehir.
“Mesut Özil was one of our incredible players,” said Germany national team head coach Hansi Flick. “At the peak of his career, he was one of the best footballers in the world. He spent nearly a decade with the national team, the highlight of which was winning the World Cup in 2014 – a triumph in which he played a key role. I really enjoyed working with him. He was incredibly talented, and his technical ability and vision were fantastic. We all wish him and his family all the best in this next chapter.”
Mesut Özil was capped 92 times for Germany, scoring 23 goals in the process. He started every match for Germany at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, going on to lift the title with the team in Brazil. The final stages of his career were spent in Turkey, first at Fenerbahçe and then at Başakşehir. The Gelsenkirchen native began his career at FC Schalke 04 before moving to SV Werder Bremen, where he won the DFB-Pokal (German Cup) in 2009. His biggest club honours as a footballer came at Real Madrid (2011 Copa del Rey champion, 2012 LaLiga champion) and Arsenal FC (FA Cup winner in 2014, 2015 and 2017).
“It’s been an amazing journey filled with unforgettable moments and emotions,” Özil wrote in his statement, going on to thank all the clubs he played for, his coaches, teammates, fans, family and close friends for their support. “I’m looking forward to everything that is in front of me.”
Another one of the golden Generation of German footballers retires. Thank you Mesut for everything!!!
Thank you ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Aqr4pB5SI2
— Mesut Özil (@M10) March 22, 2023