In an interview, former Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has ruled out a return to the German national team, while insisting that he has no plans for a Bundesliga homecoming in the future as he signed a three-and-a-half contract with his “favorite Turkish” side Fenerbahce. Last week, one Arsenal’s top paid players Ozilhas finally reached an agreement with the English club to officially terminate his contract.
“I wish the German national team success, but I will never play for them again,” the 32-year-old attacking midfielder told reporters in fluent Turkish at his official unveiling in Istanbul. Ozil, who has Turkish roots, racked up 94 caps for Germany between 2009 and 2018, scoring 23 goals and laying on 43 assists while also getting his hands on the World Cup.
He played a key role in Die Mannschaft’s run to glory at the 2014 finals in Brazil, but was unable to help Joachim Low’s side defend their title four years later in Russia. The 32-year-old washeavily criticized in Germany when he posed for a photograph with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the eve of the 2018 World Cup. Erdogan was also the best man at the player’s wedding in Turkey.
The midfielder complained of being subjected to “racist” attacks and quit the national team in anger, saying he was made the scapegoat for Germany’s first-round exit from the tournament in Russia. Meanwhile, when asked if he had thought of going back to the German top-flight at some point, Ozil replied curtly: “No, I haven’t.”
Ozil arrived at the Emirates from Real Madrid in September 2013 in a transfer worth close to £42.5 million. It is learnt that Ozil was not selected in Arsenal’s 25-man squad, alongside Greece defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos, for the Premier League, meaning he can only play for Arsenal Under-23s until his deal expires. He now joins a second-placed Fenerbahce side who are two points behind leaders.
“It was a dream for Fenerbahce and it was a dream for me. For both parties, it will be a wonderful connection. I will contribute to the team on the field with my talents and I hope we have a successful season,” Ozil said. “When I was a child, I remember being with someone who was supporting Besiktas and I was supporting Fenerbahce. I remember this and it will stay the same forever.
Last year, Özil expressed his disappointment at being exiled in Arsenal’s Premier League and Europa League squad for this season. The German player, reportedly one of Arsenal’s top paid players with an estimated $450,000 a week of earning, hasn’t played for the first team since March. Ozil accused the club of a lack of loyalty following his omission.
Ozil played 184 Premier League games for the English club, scoring 33 goals and providing 54 assists. Of those 184 games, Arsenal has won 100 and lost 33. Of Arsenal players to feature in at least 10 games last season, Ozil ranked second for successful passes in the opposition half (30.33 per 90 minutes), behind only Dani Ceballos (34.33).