Every little detail of Mesut Ozil’s play was scrutinized ever since his football debut. Fans have dissected exactly how the German operates on the pitch and have been all too eager to criticize him for mediocre play during his entire playing career.
But what of the more interesting, poorly known tidbits about the star’s life and personal history? Mesut Ozil is a former German professional footballer who played as an attacking midfielder and who recently decided to hang up his boots. He was famous for his technical skills, vision, creativity, and as well as his superb passing skills.
He was born and raised in Gelsenkirchen and began his career playing for his hometown club Schalke 04, before signing with Werder Bremen in 2008, just aged 19. It’s natural to wonder a bit about the details of someone who has received so much press and is revered by so many.
Here, then, are 10 facts that you might not have known about Mesut Ozil.
Ozil has a Turkish lineage
Mesut Ozil was born on October 15th in 1988 to Mustafa Ozil and Guliza Ozil, and was born in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. He is from a Turkish family and his first language is Turkish, and is the third generation of his family to be born in Germany.
His name Ozil is a Turkish surname constructed by fusing the Turkish words Oz, meaning self, and Li meaning city or province.
Ozil Prays from the Quran Before Every Match
Ozil had a very unique ritual he did before every game he played. Man fans wondered and raised questions citing whether he was praying.
The answer is that he was, and that he does so before every match. In an interview, he explained:
“I always recite from Quran before I go out (on the pitch). This really helps me to keep me focused. I pray and my team-mates know that they cannot talk to me during this brief period.”
— FootTheBall FC (@FootTheBallFC) March 23, 2023
Ozil was carjacked
Ozil had a terrifying ordeal when two armed and masked men attacked him and his teammate, Sead Kolasinac. The two masked men had roof tiles in their hands and were covered in all black to attack Ozil and Kolasinac.
The club received the security tapes and hired investigators to find the Carjackers. The police arrested two other men outside of Mesut’s house and were charged with public order offences.
Ozil Is a Third-Generation German
You might have noticed that Ozil does not look particularly German, nor is his name like many of the rest of his teammates on Germany’s national team. That’s because his ancestors are from Turkey, and he is a third-generation German. His father Mustafa only moved to Germany when he was two.
Ozil’s ancestors are from Northern Turkey, and he can speak Turkish.
He has a complicated dating history
Ozil is revered by many for his talents in football and is viewed as a perfect figure, interestingly his dating life has faced trials just like any other.
In the year 2013, he started dating Mandy Capristo and the relationship ended after a year, only to get back together later. Ozil even posted on his Instagram, a photo of them attending the Bambi award ceremony. He was dumped by Mandy, she accused him of infidelity, a common theme familiar to his former ex-lovers.
He dated and later married Amine Gulse, a Turkish-Swedish actress. They got married in 2019, his wedding was a big event and news in Turkey and even president Erdogan was invited. They had their first child Eda, a daughter a year after the wedding.
He Honed His Skills in the “Monkey Cage”
Like so many footballers who grew up with limited means, Ozil plied his trade on the streets as a young boy before being snatched up by top-flight German clubs. In fact, he got his start in the “Monkey Cage,” a local pitch surrounded by fences.
When you think about it, it’s actually easy to see how such an environment could have honed Ozil’s excellent skill in tight spaces and quickened his decision-making while on the ball.
He has been a philanthropist
When Ozil won the 2014 FIFA world cup he donated his winnings which were £240,000 to the Brazilian Children for their medical surgery, which he named as a tribute to the hospitality of the Brazilian people. He has also visited the Zaatari refugee camp, of about 80,000 people.
He has also worked with My shining star charity to help children with cancer dreams come true. He even invited Charlie, a child with cancer to be a guest in his private box and the player lounge during a game at Emirates stadium. In 2021, Ozil sent food packages to 41 provinces in Turkey for people in need.
He Has Been Likened to Nemo from “Finding Nemo”
According to many, that’s what his teammates took to calling him during his first season at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Apparently, he has also been likened to a tortoise, hare, owl, clownfish (the subspecies to which Nemo belongs) and a chameleon.
He was removed from Chinese internet providers
Ozil landed in trouble in December 2019 when he published a poem online denouncing the acts of the Chinese government against Uyghur Muslims in China.He also criticized Muslim countries for turning a blind eye to the injustices unfolding before them.
State broadcasters China central Television & Channel sports responded by eliminating the match between Arsenal and Manchester City from their schedule. Arsenal later released a statement distancing itself from the comments, but Ozil’s online poem had spread far and wide.
He has many businesses
Ozil is known for his creativity and innovativeness in football, it’s no shock that he is also a creative entrepreneur with many business ventures of his own.
He is the boss of his M10 streetwear firm and the sports team, he also has a chain of coffee shops and sports clinics among others. He has shares in Mexican football club Necaxa as part of an ownership deal.