Ozil accepts Fenerbahce spell went in wrong 'direction' ahead of Istanbul Basaksehir move

By Sports Desk July 13, 2022

Mesut Ozil acknowledged his "dream" move to Fenerbahce did not go in the "direction" he wanted as he heads for Istanbul Basaksehir.

The 33-year-old had been at odds with interim head coach Ismail Kartal, and Jorge Jesus seemingly made it clear Ozil was not part of his plans following his appointment as boss last month.

Former Germany midfielder Ozil joined Fener on a three-and-a-half-year deal in January 2021 following his release from Arsenal.

Ozil's move did not go to plan, though, and the playmaker has been in the wilderness once again since being banished from first-team duties in March.

Media speculation linked him with Basaksehir and the club hinted at an agreement with a tweet in which Ozil was tagged on Wednesday.

That was followed by Ozil bidding farewell to Fenerbahce, recognising his time at the club was a disappointment.

He tweeted: "One of the things that makes life is that it is full of uncertainties. Our plans, desires and wishes may not always go in the direction you want them to.

"I wanted to achieve success by getting more chances to play in the Fenerbahce jersey, which has always been my childhood dream.

"I would like to thank the Fenerbahce community and fans for the great support they have shown me."

However, Ozil's apparent choice of a move to Basaksehir may not come as a huge surprise to many.

The 2019-20 Turkish Super Lig champions have close ties to the country's controversial president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was allowed to score a hat-trick in the exhibition game that inaugurated their Fatih Terim Stadium in 2014. His number 12 jersey was retired.

In 2018, Ozil – and Ilkay Gundogan, who is also of Turkish heritage – courted significant criticism for posing for photographs with Erdogan when he visited London.

Ozil retired from international football after the 2018 World Cup. He felt the backlash and media coverage relating to his meeting with Erdogan were part of a wider racist agenda, which was key in his decision to call it quits.

The following year, Erdogan was Ozil's best man at his wedding on the banks of the Bosphorus.

Related items

  • Cristiano Ronaldo denies mega-money Al Nassr deal is signed and sealed Cristiano Ronaldo denies mega-money Al Nassr deal is signed and sealed

    Cristiano Ronaldo denied on Tuesday that he has agreed to join Saudi club Al Nassr after Portugal's World Cup adventure.

    The striker became a free agent after being released from his Manchester United contract last month and reports have claimed Ronaldo has agreed an extraordinarily lucrative deal to play in Saudi Arabia.

    Suggestions of a bumper contract offer from the Saudi Pro League club emerged last week, with Ronaldo said to be in line to earn well over £100million a year.

    However, the 37-year-old says the reports of him signing a deal with Al Nassr are wrong.

    Speaking after coming off the bench in Portugal's 6-1 win over Switzerland at the World Cup, a rare substitute appearance for his country, Ronaldo was asked about the move.

    "No, it's not true," he told reporters.

    Ronaldo was allowed to leave United after a television interview with Piers Morgan saw him criticise the club's owners and signal his lack of respect for manager Erik ten Hag.

    He said he felt "betrayed" by the club, alleging there were efforts being made to force him out, with his second stint at United ending in a messy break-up less than 18 months after his arrival from Juventus.

    The five-time Ballon d'Or winner may struggle to find a top-tier club in Europe, given his relative decline in form in recent times, compared to his peak years at Real Madrid, and the huge salary he is expected to be seeking.

    The money may be no object in Saudi Arabia, but it remains unclear whether Ronaldo does not fancy that switch, or whether the deal is simply not over the line yet.

    Ronaldo also sent his best wishes to Pele, who is being treated in a Sao Paulo hospital.

    A report in Brazil at the weekend claimed the three-time World Cup winner had entered palliative care following a cancer battle. That has not been confirmed by the hospital, family, or Pele himself.

    There have been a host of fond messages sent to the 82-year-old since concerns were raised about his health, and Ronaldo joined in. According to Record, Ronaldo said: "Get better, get better Pele. Our king has to get better. That's all we want."

  • Knockout bow beyond Ramos' 'wildest dreams' but hat-trick hero unsure of quarter-final role Knockout bow beyond Ramos' 'wildest dreams' but hat-trick hero unsure of quarter-final role

    Goncalo Ramos is unsure if he will be picked ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo again in Portugal's World Cup quarter-final after a last-16 experience beyond his "wildest dreams".

    The Benfica striker was a surprise choice from the start in Tuesday's game against Switzerland but justified his selection by hitting a hat-trick in a 6-1 rout.

    The pre-match focus was on Ronaldo's demotion to the bench, but Ramos hogged the limelight once the match kicked off.

    Even starting seemed improbable for the 21-year-old, who made his international debut in November, let alone scoring three times.

    "Not even in my wildest dreams I thought of being in the starting eleven in the knockout stages of the World Cup," Ramos said, but he does not know if he will keep his place for a last-eight meeting with Morocco.

    The forward added to RTP: "These are matters that are not for me. I have to work to the fullest and then you see what's going to happen."

    Ramos was named the player of the match and revealed Ronaldo's support in his post-match news conference.

    "Honestly, in our team, no-one talked about [Ronaldo being dropped]," he said. "Cristiano as captain did as he always does, helped us, encouraged us, not only to myself but to my colleagues."

    The level of Ramos' performance may have come as a shock to some, but not to team-mate Bruno Fernandes.

    "If you've never heard about him, it's because people are not aware of the quality of the Portuguese league," the Manchester United man said.

    "He has been doing really well in the Champions League, first in the group of PSG, so people should be aware of Goncalo, of his qualities.

    "I'm really happy for him, because a hat-trick at his age is a big achievement. But for Goncalo and for everyone else, the most important thing is that we are in the quarter-finals against Morocco."

  • Bruno on benched Ronaldo: 'Do you think Cristiano would be happy?' Bruno on benched Ronaldo: 'Do you think Cristiano would be happy?'

    Bruno Fernandes suggested Cristiano Ronaldo had been angry with Fernando Santos' decision to bench the Portugal captain, while he believes the veteran forward also would have thrived in the 6-1 win over Switzerland.

    Ronaldo came out of the Portugal XI following a moment of controversy in the side's previous match against South Korea, when he appeared to insult Santos after being substituted.

    Santos "really didn't like it at all" but insisted the matter had been "resolved" before naming Ronaldo among the substitutes against Switzerland in the last 16 of the World Cup.

    Goncalo Ramos, drafted in to replace Ronaldo, scored a hat-trick in a stunning display at Lusail Stadium, while the Portugal skipper failed to net as a second-half substitute – though he did see an effort rightly ruled out for offside,

    Asked of Ronaldo's reaction following Santos' decision, Fernandes said: "It was like everyone else. Do you think anyone likes to be on the bench?

    "Jose Sa – he didn't play one minute, he knows that he's the third goalkeeper, but he's not happy to be on the bench.

    "Do you think Cristiano would be happy? If the manager in the next game put me on the bench, I would be angry."

    But Fernandes bristled at the idea Portugal had won specifically because Ronaldo had come out of the team.

    "We won the first two games with Cristiano in the first XI," the midfielder said. "If Cristiano had played, he could have scored three goals and nobody would be talking about Cristiano on the bench.

    "Cristiano is doing his job, he's doing his part, and he's happy with the result, because the goal for everyone is to go as far as possible.

    "I don't think people should be talking about the situation with Cristiano and why he's playing, why he's not playing.

    "When Cristiano plays and the team wins, nobody talks about that. When Cristiano plays and the team loses, everyone talks about that."

    Even as Portugal scored goal after goal in the second half, the crowd in Lusail chanted Ronaldo's name and jeered as they waited for his introduction.

    Fernandes added: "Cristiano is the most famous player in the world, of all time. No-one is more famous than Cristiano in sports. Not in football, in sports.

    "It's normal that people come to see Cristiano, cheering him and everything. I don't see any surprise in that. I don't know why anyone is surprised by that.

    "Cristiano is Cristiano. It's normal that people are cheering him, even if he's on the bench and not playing. It's a simple thing."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.