Former Germany midfielder Mesut Ozil, who won the World Cup in 2014, retired from football Wednesday (Mar 22) at the age of 34. Ozil said injuries played a role in his decision. “I’ve had the privilege to be a professional football player for almost 17 years now and I feel incredibly thankful for the opportunity,” Ozil wrote on social media. “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.”
His immediate retirement brings an early end to his season with Turkish club Istanbul Basaksehir, where he made only seven appearances for the team.
Ozil won the Spanish league title with Real Madrid in 2012 and the FA Cup four times with Arsenal. His international career ended abruptly in 2018 when he quit the Germany squad citing “racism and disrespect.”
In 2014, Ozil started the final as Germany beat Lionel Messi's Argentina 1-0 in the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro thanks to Mario Goetze's extra-time goal.