Former Real Madrid and Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has announced his retirement from professional football.

In a statement on his social media handles, Ozil said: “It has been an amazing journey filled with unforgettable moments and emotions.  I’ve had the privilege to be a professional football player for almost 17 years now and I feel incredibly thankful for the opportunity.

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“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.”

The midfielder came through the ranks at Schalke before completing a move to Werder Bremen in 2008. A year later he made his German debut and announced himself as a global star at the 2010 World Cup as a youthful German side finished third.

That campaign earned Özil a move to Real Madrid, where he played 159 times in four seasons and struck up a fine partnership with Cristiano Ronaldo before a move to Arsenal in 2013 saw him become the north London club’s record signing.

Özil helped Arsenal end a nine-year trophy drought and ultimately lifted the FA Cup three times, making 254 appearances and scoring 44 goals in seven seasons with the Gunners. He moved to Turkey in 2021 and played for Fenerbahçe before a move to Istanbul Basaksehir last summer.

The 34-year-old won the World Cup, La Liga, Copa del Rey, three FA Cups, and the DFB Pokal during a 17-year professional career. In separate campaigns, he laid on the most assists at a World Cup, a Euros, a Premier League season, a La Liga season, and a Bundesliga season.

At an international level, Özil won 92 Germany caps and scored an impressive 23 goals.

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