Injury-prone star Özil hangs his boots with immediate effect

German international Mesut Özil on Wednesday announced his retirement from professional football with immediate effect.

The 34-year-old Özil, who has been battling injuries, hangs up his boots mid-way through the season with Turkish Super Lig outfit Istanbul Basaksehir where he made only eight appearances since joining the club in 2022.

The former Arsenal and Real Madrid midfield maestro took to social media to break the news.

“Hello everyone, after thoughtful consideration, I’m announcing my immediate retirement from professional football,” he wrote in an emotional statement.

“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 has become more and more clear that it’s 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, Werder Bremen, Real Madrid, Arsenal, Fenerbahce, Basaksehir and the coaches who supported me, plus teammates 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 [times].

“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.

“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!”

Özil bows out of the game having won four FA Cup titles with the Gunners, one La Liga and Copa del Rey title with Madrid and lifted the World Cup with Germany in 2014.

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