Arsenal star reveals why he picked Germany over Turkey

Source: Mesut Özil Instagram

Arsenal star Mesut Ozil has revealed why he decided to play for the Germany national team over Turkey at senior international level in the latest revelations leaked from his biography ‘Die Magie des Spiels’ (The Magic of the Game) that is out on March 16 – which is being serialised in the Bild newspaper.

Ozil was born in Germany but his family originate from Turkey. The 28-year-old has roots in the Zonguldak province in the North-Western region of the country.

The playmaker even has a street named after him in his family hometown of Devrek and only had a Turkish passport before making his decision over which national team to represent.


Ozil stated that his father urged him to represent Germany while his mother and uncle wanted him to play for Turkey.


More: For Mesut Ozil news and everything you want to know about the Arsenal star

‘Naturally I spoke to my family over this difficult decision,’ he writes (via Daily Mail). ‘My mother, Gulizar, was one of those who were in favour of me playing for Turkey. “Think about where your roots are. Your grandparents came from Turkey,” she said. My uncle agreed with her. 

‘But my father disagreed with my uncle and said: “Mesut was born in Germany. He went to school in Germany and he’s learnt all his football in German clubs. Therefore, he has to play for Germany.” 

‘There were times where I felt burdened by the pressure of having to make a final decision. I didn’t want to upset or disappoint anyone. But in the spring of 2006 I finally told my family my decision.’

Despite playing for Germany, Ozil refuses to sing the national anthem and revealed that instead he prays in Turkish.

The anthem issue divides opinion but Ozil has been one of the German national team’s key players over the years.

Ozil went onto become the first ethnic Turk to win the World Cup when he lifted the trophy with Germany in Brazil 2014.

The 28-year-old is bi-lingual in Turkish and German, he also speaks English and Spanish.