Mesut Ozil completed his move to Fenerbahce with Arsenal making the announcement on Sunday and the player making a statement (that you can read below). He will take the number 67 shirt and, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably going ‘huh’?
Mesut Ozil likes the number 10. We all know that.
It adorned his back with Real Madrid and Germany, but it has not always been his number. Ozil has worn the 17 with the Germany youth teams and Schalke, the 11 at Werder Bremen in addition to Arsenal, the 8 with Germany, and the 23 when he first arrived at Real Madrid.
Ozil is not, then, as wedded to it as we might imagine.
When Mesut signed for Fenerbahce, he took the 67, which is a very strange number indeed.
Numbers currently available at Fenerbahce are the 2, 12, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 and 28, as well as quite a few above that.
But Ozil has gone for 67 which is, apparently, the postal district of Ozil’s ancestral town, Zonguldak.
Post/zip codes for the province are all 67xxx with 41 regions in total.
It will not, however, be the highest shirt number in use with the Fenerbahce first team. They currently have a 71 (Ismail Yuksek), 77 (Gokhan Gonul), 88 (Caner Erkin) and a 99 (Kemal Ademi).
Ozil posted a statement on his official channels.
He wrote, “#TheAssist
“7.5 years. Nearly 3,000 days. It feels strange to be writing this message after such a long time here in London. Since the moment I arrived, it has felt like home. I was welcomed with open arms by all the Arsenal staff, my teammates, and most importantly the incredible fans. I will always be grateful for the trust placed in me by Arsene Wenger in September of 2013. I’ve grown up as an adult in North London, a place I can always call home. I’ll never forget that. Being with Arsenal for so long has meant I’ve experienced a big mix of ups and downs. Over 250 games, 44 goals and 71 assists later, it’s time that Arsenal and I finally part ways.
“Together, we ended the club’s 9-year trophy drought, and brought long needed silverware back to the fans who deserved it.
“It is difficult for me to put into words the love I feel for this club and the fans. How could I possibly describe 8 years of gratitude in a single letter? Whilst I may be no longer playing for the club, I will continue to support them in every game they play. I will be a Gunner for life – no doubt about that. Now more than ever we must all be behind the team. This season is a tough one for every team in the Premier League, and that is why we must all back the current squad and staff no matter the results.
“For me, it’s been amazing to see some of the boys from Hale End coming through into the first team setup. As we all know, they are the future of our club, and I wish them every success! Hearing my name chanted around the Emirates will forever give me goosebumps, and the memories I’ve made putting on this jersey will stick with me for life. Much has been written about my time at Arsenal, especially in recent months. Arsenal is a club of class and prestige, something that I felt every time I walked onto the pitch. Players, staff and management always come and go – but the club’s values and fans will remain forever.
“The principles of class, respect and dignity must never be forgotten. It is the responsibility of every single person from the club to make sure they carry out their job in the name of these values. As I said, the past few months haven’t been the easiest. Like every player, I want to play every minute of football for my team. In life however, things do not always play out how we expect or want them too. But it is important to look for the positives in life and not the negative, which is why I try to live with no regrets and holding no grudges. Being at Arsenal was more than just football, it was about community. As much as I tried to assist on-the-pitch, I tried to be part of the London community as much as I could too.
“North London took me in as one of its own, and every season I embarked on a different project to bring happiness to this incredible community. Although I might be leaving North London, this will not stop.
“It might be the end of a chapter, but my connection with this amazing club will never fade. It might be goodbye for now, but it’s not goodbye forever.
“To the Arsenal fans around the world: YaGunnersYa