(FILE) - Mesut Oezil arrives press conference before his signing ceremony for Fenerbahce in Istanbul, Turkey, 27 January 2021 (re-issued 22 March 2023). EFE/EPA/SEDAT SUNA

Former Real star Mesut Özil hangs up his boots

Madrid, Mar 22 (EFE).- Former Real Madrid and Arsenal attacking midfielder Mesut Özil announced his retirement from football on Wednesday at the age of 34.

In a post on his Twitter account, the former German international, who was a key part of Die Mannschaft’s 2014 World Cup winning squad, said that “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.”

Özil had been playing for Başakşehir in Turkey, for whom he made just two two starts since joining from Fenerbahçe the previous summer.

He began his career at Schalke 04 after coming through the youth ranks, before moving to Werder Bremen at 19, where he led the team to the German Cup in 2009.

(FILE) – Arsenal’s Mesut Oezil during the English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Burnley at Emirates Stadium, London , Britain, 22 December 2018 (re-issued 22 March 2023). EFE/EPA/WILL OLIVER

His performances caught the eye of Real Madrid, who brought him to the Bernabeu in 2010.

Özil won LaLiga in 2012, and made the most assists in the Spanish league for three consecutive seasons. He also won the Copa del Rey and the Super Cup while playing in the Spanish capital.

He joined Arsenal in September 2013, winning four FA Cup titles during his time in North London.

(FILE) Real Madrid’s German midfielder Mesut Ozil in action during their Primera Division match against Valencia FC played at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain on 08 April 2012. EFE/Juan Carlos Hidalgo

Özil’s relations with the German public deteriorated in 2018 after he was pictured at a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whom he presented with an Arsenal jersey.

He was heavily criticized for the meeting and he eventually ruled himself out of international contention while accusing the German football association of failing to support him or protect him from racist abuse. EFE