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Mesut Ozil emerges as shock candidate for Turkey parliamentary elections following retirement

Mesut Ozil emerges as shock candidate for Turkey parliamentary elections following retirement

The former Arsenal and Real Madrid star has found a new career path.

Mesut Ozil has emerged as a surprise candidate for the upcoming Turkish parliamentary elections, as the former Real Madrid and Arsenal star begins life after football.

Ozil - who announced his retirement from professional football last month - has emerged as a potential candidate for the Turkish parliament according to reports.

The Turkiyenewspaper states that Ozil has been listed as one of the candidates for parliament in the upcoming elections, standing as a representative of the AK Party.

The announcement comes after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hinted that there would be some surprise names on the list but few expected to see the former Arsenal and Real Madrid favourite feature.

Despite featuring for Germany during his international career, Ozil was the son of Turkish immigrants and has often spoken highly of his relationship with his parents homeland.

He is known to have close relations with President Erdogan, who featured as the best man at the former footballer's wedding in 2019.

President Erdogan is an avid fan of football and recently defended Al-Nassr forward Cristiano Ronaldo for his support of Palestine.

In comments made following an underwhelming World Cup campaign, Erdogan stated that Ronaldo had failed to perform due to a 'political ban' imposed on the five-time Ballon d'Or winner following his public support of the Palestinian cause.

Ozil's move from football to politics comes following the end of an illustrious 18-year playing career that saw the Germany international enjoy spells in the Bundesliga, La Liga, Premier League and Super Lig.

The breakout years of Ozil's club career came during his three-year stint with Real Madrid, although his career almost took a totally different path, with El Clasico rivals Barcelona also interested in acquiring his services.

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However the 'disappointing actions' of Pep Guardiola resulted in Ozil opting for a move to Los Blancos, where he would go on to win one La Liga title, one Copa del Rey title and one Spanish Super Cup before making the move to Premier League side Arsenal.

The highlight of the 34-year-old's playing career came in 2014, as the attacking midfielder helped Germany to a first World Cup triumph in 24 years.

Featured Image Credit: Mesut Ozil Instagram/PA Images

Topics: Mesut Ozil, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Turkey