Mesut Ozil RETIRES! Former Arsenal & Real Madrid star calls time on glittering career at 34 after injury struggles

  • Ozil confirms retirement
  • Starred with Arsenal and Real Madrid
  • Won World Cup with Germany in 2014

WHAT HAPPENED? Ozil has announced his playing days are over after a brief spell with Istanbul Basaksehir. The midfielder retires after a career that saw him win La Liga and the Copa del Rey with Real Madrid and then move to Arsenal where he claimed the FA Cup four times. Ozil also starred at international level and lifted the World Cup with Germany in 2014. The player has endured a tough few years since leaving the Gunners and has now decided his playing days are over.

THROWBACK: When Ozil saved Gunnersaurus

🎥 WATCH: Arsenal fans go wild after Ozil signing

🚨 MUST READ: Ozil's Arsenal debut - where are they now?

WHAT THEY SAID: "After thoughtful consideration, I'm announced my immediate retirement from professional football," he wrote in a post 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, its become more and more clear that its time to leave the big stage of football."

"It has been an amazing journey filled with unforgettable moments and emotions. I want to thank my clubs - Schalke 04, Werder Bremen, Real Madrid, Arsenal FC, Fenerbahce, Ba§akwhir and the coaches who supported me, plus team-mates who have become friends.

"Special thanks must go to my family members and my closest friends. They have been a part of my journey from day one and have given me so much love and support, through the good times and the bad. Thank you to all my fans who have shown me so much love no matter the circumstances and no matter which club I was representing."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: It's no surprise to see Ozil call time on his career. There was speculation earlier this year he would walk away from the game and his career fizzled out after he fell out of favour at Arsenal and eventually left after agreeing to terminate his contract. A difficult spell at Fenerbahce followed before he moved to Istanbul Basaksehir ahead of the 2022-23 campaign, but he ended up making only seven appearances for the club.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

Mesut Ozil ArsenalGettyMesut Ozil World CupGettyMesut Ozil Real MadridGetty

WHAT NEXT? It's not clear what Ozil will do next, although he is relishing the chance to spend more time with his family. He added in his statement: "Now I'm looking forward to everything that is in front of me with my beautiful wife, Amine, and my two beautiful daughters, Eda and Ela - but you can be sure that you will hear from me from time to time on my social media channels. See you soon, Mesut!"