Germany and İstanbul Başakşehir player Mesut Ozil has announced his decision to retire from professional soccer. Aged 34 years old, Ozil spent the peak of his career at Real Madrid and Arsenal.
Ozil began his career in his native Germany, playing for Bundesliga clubs Schalke 04 and Werder Bremen before signing for Real Madrid in 2010, where he won the 2010-11 Copa del Rey and the 2011-12 La Liga title. In 2013, Ozil began a seven year-stint at Arsenal, playing 254 games for the club and winning four FA Cups in the process.
The attacking midfielder also proved to be a key member of Germany’s national men’s side, finishing third in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa before lifting the 2014 World Cup trophy in Brazil.
“After thoughtful consideration, I’m announcing my immediate retirement from professional football,” Ozil wrote on Twitter. “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.”