Belfast Telegraph

Monday 15 September 2014

Arsenal star and Germany World Cup hero Mesut Ozil funds surgeries for sick Brazilian children

Mesut Özil posted this picture on his Facebook account
Mesut Özil posted this picture on his Facebook account

Mesut Özil has not given his World Cup bonus money to the children of Gaza despite reports claiming the World Cup winner had, after the Germany international cleared up the rumours by revealing he was funding sick children in Brazil to undergo surgery.

Özil was part of the Germany side that defeated Argentina in the World Cup final thanks to Mario Götze’s extra-time winner, handing the Germans their fourth World Cup success in their history.

Reports emerged that following the victory and the high-profile celebrations which included German Chancellor Angela Merkel and singer Rihanna, Özil had pledged to give his bonus to those children currently suffering in Gaza due to the on-going turmoil between Hamas and Israel.

However, when The Independent spoke to Özil’s representative, he confirmed that the Arsenal star had not donated his money to them, and has been giving money to 11 sick children in Brazil to undergo surgery. The 25-year-old would then take to his Facebook page to clear up the confusion, and reveal that he would use the bonus money to help fund more operations, with plans to take that number to 23 to replicate the number of players in the victorious Germany squad.

"The claim that Mesut donated money to Gaza is not true,” said the midfielder's representative Roland Eitel.

“Maybe in the future, who knows? He donated money to causes in Brazil and he is now on holiday.”

Ozil added a picture on his official Facebook profile showing him with four children holding a large football boot and kitted out in the Germany strip, along with the message:

“Dear fans,

“Prior to the ‪#‎WorldCup I supported the surgery of eleven sick children. Since the victory of the #WorldCup is not only due to eleven players but to our whole team, I will now raise the number to 23. This is my personal thank-you for the hospitality of the people of Brazil. ‪#‎Bigshoe ‪#‎Brasil2014”

The move has been widely praised in the football world given that a number of footballers are often caught up in controversy and slated for their actions. Özil’s gesture, both kind and thoughtful, is a reminder that actions as small as helping sick children makes a big difference for those involved, and perhaps the Germany international can act as an example to his team-mate Jack Wilshere.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13:  Bastian Schweinsteiger of Germany, girlfriend Sarah Brandner and assistant coach Hansi Flick celebrate with teammates at a party, after winning the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match against Argentina, at Sheraton Hotel on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Markus Gilliar - Pool/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Bastian Schweinsteiger of Germany, girlfriend Sarah Brandner and assistant coach Hansi Flick celebrate with teammates at a party, after winning the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match against Argentina, at Sheraton Hotel on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Markus Gilliar - Pool/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13:  Bastian Schweinsteiger of Germany and girlfriend Sarah Brandner celebrate with teammates at a party, after winning the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match against Argentina, at Sheraton Hotel on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Markus Gilliar - Pool/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Bastian Schweinsteiger of Germany and girlfriend Sarah Brandner celebrate with teammates at a party, after winning the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match against Argentina, at Sheraton Hotel on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Markus Gilliar - Pool/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13:  Lena Gercke, girlfriend of Sami Khedira of Germany, looks on after Germany's 1-0 win in extra time during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Lena Gercke, girlfriend of Sami Khedira of Germany, looks on after Germany's 1-0 win in extra time during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Source: Independent

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