Ozil retires: Arsenal and Madrid assist machine's stellar career in numbers

By Sports Desk March 22, 2023

Mesut Ozil's retirement brings to an end the career of one of modern football's great, traditional number 10s.

The former Arsenal and Real Madrid playmaker announced on social media that he was terminating his contract with Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir due to continuing injury issues.

Ex-Germany international Ozil won the World Cup in 2014 and also played for Schalke, Werder Bremen and Fenerbahce during his club career.

Having garnered a big move to Spanish giants Real Madrid in 2010 following his superb displays in that year's World Cup, Ozil won a LaLiga title, a Copa del Rey and the Supercopa de Espana.

A move to Arsenal in 2013 saw Ozil flourish into one of the Premier League's greatest creative forces, while he won the FA Cup four times during his stay in north London.

Stints at Fenerbahce and Basaksehir were hampered by injury with Ozil having played just four times this season, but the 34-year-old leaves behind an unforgettable legacy.

Stats Perform takes a look at some of the key numbers behind Ozil's memorable career.

 

Creator in chief

The 2015-16 campaign was arguably Ozil's finest in an Arsenal shirt, with his tally of 146 chances created in the Premier League the most of any player in a single season in the competition. 

Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne has come closest to breaking that record when the Belgian crafted 136 goalscoring opportunities for team-mates in the 2019-20 campaign.

Ozil managed six league goals in the 2015-16 campaign but laid on a further 19. That was the only time he registered double figures for assists in a top-flight season while at Arsenal, something he managed in each of his three seasons in LaLiga.

Assist machine

Ozil is one of just four Arsenal players to have registered more than 50 Premier League assists for the club.

His total of 54 is bested by Denis Bergkamp (94), Thierry Henry (74) and Cesc Fabregas (70).

Ozil's prolific record as a creator began well before his move to north London.

His 122 assists across a ten-season stretch between 2008 and 2018 was only eclipsed by Lionel Messi (133).

Starting in 2008, Ozil recorded more than 12 assists for five consecutive seasons. At Werder Bremen, he set up 25 goals two seasons in the Bundesliga before joining Madrid.

His numbers would only improve in the Spanish capital as he created 47 goals between 2010 and 2013.

Eye for goal

While Ozil's creative talents caught the eye, he had a penchant for scoring goals as well as setting them up.

His 33 top-flight goals in an Arsenal shirt stands as the second-best tally of any German in the Premier League, behind City's Ilkay Gundogan (39). Uwe Rosler, Jurgen Klinsmann, and Leroy Sane make up the top five with 29, 29 and 25 respectively.

Ozil's best Premier League goalscoring season was the 2016-17 campaign when he netted eight times.

 

Galactico

It was at the 2010 World Cup where Ozil truly made his name, starring in a youthful Germany side that reached the semi-finals.

Ozil appeared at three World Cup finals, and is one of only five players to have created at least 10 chances from open play in three different World Cups (since 1966), along with Messi, Diego Maradona, Wolfgang Overath and former Germany team-mate Thomas Muller.

Madrid signed him after his leading role in South Africa and Ozil went on to make 159 appearances for Los Blancos. Only three German players have played more matches with the club – Toni Kroos (402), Uli Stielike (308) and Sami Khedira (161). 

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