Mesut Ozil finalized his imminent move to Fenerbahce after his Arsenal contract was terminated on Sunday, and was officially presented as their new player this week. Having supported the Turkish club since his childhood, Ozil said that his tenure with the Yellow Canaries will be a 'wonderful connection'.
The former Germany international, who was earning a whopping £350,000-a-week (€16m a year) at Arsenal, saw his contract being terminated six months early and took a massive pay cut in order to seal a move to Fenerbahce. It is said that he will earn €3 million a year in Turkey.
Ozil was unveiled as the new Fenerbahce player on Wednesday and one thing that made everyone scratch their head was his jersey number. Now, Ozil had already given a hint on social media with a cryptic tweet, but a shirt number as peculiar as 67 is bound to raise questions.
6️⃣7️⃣ ❤— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) January 17, 2021
Why did Ozil choose No. 67?
Ozil decided to go with #67 because he wanted to pay tribute to his Turkish heritage. The number 67 is, in fact, the first two digits of the postal code (67000) of his family's hometown of Zonguldak in Turkey. Zonguldak is a town located on the coasts of the Black Sea.
Although Ozil was born in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, his family hails from Hışıroğlu, a village in the district that has the postal code 67802. Traditionally, he was expected to carry on with his #10 shirt at Fenerbahce, but that number was already occupied by striker Mbwana Samatta. Meanwhile, other usual numbers like 19, 21, 22, 23 and 24 were available too, but Ozil decided to pay homage to his root.
The number 67 at Fenerbahce isn't the highest though, as No. 71 (Ismail Yuksek), No. 77 (Gokhan Gonul), No. 88 (Caner Erkin) and No. 99 (Kemal Ademi) are occupied too.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter / @MesutOzil1088