Mesut Ozil denies giving bonus to children of Gaza but Arsenal star confirms he is funding surgeries for sick Brazilian children

Ozil had reportedly pledged to give his money to young children in Gaza but the World Cup winner took to his Facebook page to clarify the situation

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.

Video: Germany win fourth World Cup

“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.”

Read more: Ozil and Gotze go selfie crazy
Germany fans celebrate World Cup success
Germany could rule the world for years to come

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.

 

The England midfielder, who did not enjoy the best of World Cup campaigns along with the rest of the Three Lions’ squad, was caught up in a second smoking controversy in nine months after he was pictured in Las Vegas smoking and drinking in a swimming pool, with international team-mates Joe Hart and James Milner also in attendance.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey
film
Sport
Bafetibis Gomis of Swansea City is stretchered off at White Hart Lane
football
News
Jerry Seinfeld Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
peopleSitcom star urges men to be more supportive of women than ever
Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
health
News
Jay Z
businessJay-Z's bid for Spotify rival could be blocked
Sport
footballLouis van Gaal is watching a different Manchester United and Wenger can still spring a surprise
News
The spider makes its break for freedom
VIDEO
Voices
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
Arts and Entertainment
books
News
people
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle v United player ratings
Life and Style
love + sex
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot