Following on from the post regarding Ozil’s views on China, fellow “JustArsenal” blogger Phil, sent me this article from The Sun newspaper, which shows just what an icon this man is in the footballing world and how he is promoting the name of “Arsenal”.
How Arsenal star Ozil is planning to fund 1,000 kids’ operations and feed 100,000 homeless people through charity work
HANGING on the kitchen wall inside Mesut Ozil’s multi-million pound North London house is a framed letter from his beloved mum.
Mrs Gulizar Ozil hung it there herself shortly after he signed for Arsenal from Real Madrid for £42.5million six years ago.
It reads: “Mesut, don’t forget, in life you are a guest in this world, like all of us.
“God gifted you with a certain talent but he didn’t give you this just to take care of yourself.
“If you don’t share your wealth with people who are in need then you are not my son.
It explains why the Gunners’ £350,000-a-week Muslim superstar is on a personal crusade to help the world’s starving, sick and homeless.
In an exclusive SunSport interview, his trusted German super-agent, lawyer and teacher, Dr Erkut Sogut, lifts the lid on the secret life of one of the world’s richest footballers.
On his wedding day to former Miss Turkey, Amine Gulse, last summer, Ozil promised to finance 1,000 operations for needy kids across the globe.
“Then, during last year’s World Cup, he told me ‘I want to do this bigger. Let’s change the lives of 1,000 kids, let’s do 1,000 operations’.
“I said ‘This will cost you millions’. But he replied ‘If I don’t share my money now, when will I? And with whom?’
“Mesut came from a very poor background, with his mum doing two cleaning jobs a day. He knows what it means not to have anything.
“And he said ‘Look, Erkut, I earn so much, I can’t spend it all on myself, so I can give much more’.”
Ozil admitted: “As a footballer I am fortunate and in a privileged position. Amine and I will bear the expenses for surgeries of 1,000 children in need.”
His wedding day gift also included feeding an astonishing 100,000 homeless people at 16 refugee camps and shelters in Turkey and Syria.
Ozil, 31, paid for the meals, Sogut organised the massive take-away operation and the Red Cross delivered the grub to the sites.
Sogut, 39, added: “Mesut told me, ‘This is my wedding present to the world. Today, the food is on me’.
“It cost Mesut a huge amount of money that day. But it was something he was very passionate about.”
Ozil had previously donated his 2014 World Cup winnings — about £240,000 — to fund surgery for 23 sick Brazilian children in conjunction with the BigShoe charity.
Sogut has a prized video of some of the hungry in the Turkish capital, Ankara, sending Ozil heartfelt thank-you messages. He then revealed the contents of Mrs Ozil’s letter which has inspired his charity missions.
Last month the agent flew to Ozil’s parents’ Turkish birthplace, Devrek, where the Arsenal No 10 is building a five-storey football academy for the town.
Ozil is also working with children’s charity Rays of Sunshine and a Barnet hospice, while five of the 15 seats in his Emirates box are always reserved for charity.
Sogut said: “Mesut loves helping children. He became great friends with a kid who had terminal cancer. Tragically, Charlie died seven months ago and the boy’s death really affected him.”
As did the horrific attempted carjacking near his home in July.
Videos of Kolasinac fighting off one of the knife-wielding thugs went viral and Ozil admitted: “Sead was really brave.
“I was scared for my wife. We were worried these guys had been targeting us.”
Almost a year to the day earlier, Ozil had quit playing for Germany, citing the “racism and disrespect” he had suffered in his homeland over his Turkish roots.
Despite being born in the German town of Gelsenkirchen and winning 92 caps for his country, he was castigated after being photographed with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan in London last May.
Ozil received hate mail and was blamed for Germany’s poor World Cup in Russia when they crashed out in the group stage.
He said: “I am German when we win but an immigrant when we lose. I no longer want to wear the German shirt.”
Ozil met Erdogan along with fellow German star, Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan, who is also of Turkish descent.
Many German politicians questioned Ozil’s loyalty to their country. But the Gunner insisted he would have been “disrespecting his ancestors’ roots” had he not posed for pictures, adding: “Is it because it is Turkey? Is it because I’m a Muslim?”
Sogut revealed the final straw came when the director of Ozil’s old school in Gelsenkirchen told him he was “no longer welcome at a planned event, despite paying for immigrant children’s education there for ten years”.
The agent added: “It was the main reason Mesut stopped playing for Germany.
“He told me, ‘If I am not even welcome at my own school how can I wear the national jersey?’ Whenever anyone asks him for help, he just gives.
“He has given jobs to seven of his childhood friends from Gelsenkirchen. They now work for him in Dusseldorf.
“His charitable work costs him millions but he earns millions so is happy to give back. I don’t know of another player who does it on this scale.
“But he doesn’t want to brag about it. Most Arsenal fans don’t care about these things anyway, just whether he is playing or not.”
Ozil has started both games under interim boss Freddie Ljungberg following Unai Emery’s sacking.
And Sogut, who has built Ozil a UK property portfolio to generate £100,000-a-month rental income when he retires, said: “Arsenal DNA is in Mesut’s blood. He loves the club.
“He has had offers from other Premier League clubs but he was clear, ‘If I am not staying at Arsenal then I will leave England’.
“He has never wanted to join another club here.”
And Ozil declared: “This is my home. I am proud to be an Arsenal player, I’m happy here.”
Sogut — affectionately nicknamed The Nerd by Ozil because of his love of libraries — negotiated both the German’s original Arsenal contract and his huge new £18.2m-a-year deal which ties him to the club until 2021.
On both occasions he spoke directly with previous boss Arsene Wenger.
Sogur recalled: “He was a fantastic guy. I have never met a coach like him.
“I have not seen his patience, kindness and calmness in many people. We always spoke in German and it was clear Arsene was very keen to get Mesut to Arsenal. I also dealt with Arsene on the new contract.
“Mesut had a lot of other opportunities at the time because he would have been a free agent and could have commanded a £40m signing-on fee elsewhere. But he never wanted to leave.
“Was this deal my best moment as an agent? No, it was when I helped a 17-year-old kid sign his first professional contract. That made me happier.”
But, he concedes, not as rich.
Now, Sogut owns two thriving 39 Steps coffee shops in Soho and Knightsbridge, lives in London and has an English wife and young son.
He also hosts regular seminars and has written a book on how to become a football agent.
Ozil owns two e-sports teams and Sogut added: “His teams have the best players from Europe, Brazil and India and it’s like running your own football club.”
So could he become Arsenal manager one day? “Who knows?” replied Sogut. “Maybe Chairman Ozil.”
That might give Arsenal a few more pounds for the transfer market!
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Add to this, the further news that a team in Nigeria has changed it’s playing name to include Ozil in the title and shows pictures of the team and it’s fans wearing the shirt with Ozil’s name on the back, one might just begin to realise what a iconic person this man really is.
We all have our views on his footballing abilities, but for those who denegrate him for other things, it might just make you realise how his name is bringing our club onto the world stage – and as a footnote, I love the T shirt Kolasinac is wearing in the picture! I believe Phil lent it to him from his collection!!!
Thanks for sending this Phil, I sincerely hope that, when he decides to stop playing, he becomes an Ambassador for the club and spreads our name throughout the world.