Mesut Ozil Hangs Up His Boots

German midfielder Mesut Ozil has announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 34. 

He posted a heartfelt message on social media to confirm the news, thanking his family and former clubs. 

mesut ozil hangs up his boots

Ozil is widely regarded as one of the best players in his position, earning the nickname ‘King of Assists’ for his technical skill, vision and passing. 

Here, we take a look at some of his career milestones. 

The Bundesliga years 

Ozil began his senior career with Schalke in 2006, having made his way up their youth system. Even as a teenager he was already highly-regarded, but a dispute over his salary saw him leave the club for Werder Bremen in 2008. 

It was at Bremen that he scored his debut Bundesliga goal against Karlsruher SC, before going on to help the club win the 2009 German Cup. 

Within two short seasons Ozil had firmly established himself as Bremen’s main playmaker, but bigger and better things were waiting on the horizon. 

Real Madrid 

Ozil’s performances for Bremen and the German national team had attracted the interest of Barcelona, Man United and Arsenal, but he opted to join Real Madrid in the summer of 2010. 

It was at the Bernabeau that Ozil truly made his mark as one of the world’s best midfielders with his trademark passing and assists. 

He finished his first season there with 25 assists – more than any other player in major European competitions that campaign. 

At Real, Ozil went on to win a La Liga title, one Copa Del Rey and the Spanish Super Cup. He also made the shortlist for the 2012 Ballon d’Or award. 


In September 2013, Ozil agreed to join Arsenal for a fee rumoured to be around 42.5 million pounds, which made him the most expensive German footballer at the time. 

mesut ozil hangs up his boots

At the Emirates, he helped The Gunners end their trophy drought by guiding them to the FA Cup in his first season.

He would go on to win a further three FA Cups, although his last – in 2020 – came under a cloud of controversy. He is technically listed as a winner, but was left out of the squad for the final due to a drop in form and other off-field controversies. 

By this point Ozil had fallen out of favour with the club, his teammates and the fans for a series of politically-linked statements on social media. He also came under fire for refusing to join his teammates in taking a pay-cut during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

On to Turkey 

By early 2021, Ozil’s position at Arsenal was no longer tenable, and he left for Fenerbahce after his Gunners contract was terminated six months prematurely. 

However, his first season with the club he supported as a boy was blighted by an ankle injury and a Covid infection that restricted his playing time. 

He went on to play two seasons with Fenerbahce, although injuries and off-field issues once again saw him fall out of favour, with his contract terminated by mutual consent on July 13th 2022. 

Just one day later he signed a one-year contract with İstanbul Başakşehir. But here, too, he saw his appearances limited due to recurring injuries, eventually leading to his retirement. 


Due to his heritage, Ozil was eligible to play for either Turkey or Germany, where he was born. He opted for the country of his birth and was called up to the German Under-17 team in 2006. 

What followed was a rapid rise to the senior squad, making his debut in 2009 and never looking back. 

He was a key member of his country’s 2010 World Cup squad, featuring in every one of their games. 

Ozil further enhanced his reputation as one of the best passers of the ball as the Germans made it as far as the semifinals at Euro 2012. 

But it was at the 2014 World Cup that he reached the pinnacle of his career, with the German’s crowned world champions after beating Argentina in the final.  

Incidentally, Ozil also provided an assist for one of the goals in the now historic 7-1 win over Brazil in the semis. 

Ozil went on to feature in one more World Cup in 2018, where the German’s heavily underperformed as defending champions. 

Shortly after he retired from the national team, again under a cloud of controversy, claiming that he faced racism and disrespect over his Turkish ancestry. 


Over the course of his career Ozil went on to make 645 appearances for club and country, 254 of which were for Arsenal. 

He scored 114 goals in total and had 222 assists.

mesut ozil hangs up his boots