Look out! Germany‘s soccer team isn’t done making an impression on Brazil. Mesut Özil, the arsenal midfielder of the FIFA World Cup winners, reportedly donated all of his championship prize money. Germany made history after destroying Brazil with a grueling defeat in the FIFA Games. However, Özil proved that it was all fun and games in the end when he announced his generosity with this Facebook post,
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
It was initially reported that the 25-year old soccer player donated his bonus of £240,000 to Gaza, but the arsenal star cleared the air yesterday with this announcement and may be donating more money. Özil’s collaboration with the BigShoeProject began in 2006 when a child first needed financial assistance for a surgery. Özil assisted the BigShoeProject in collecting money for the child and he has been helping children fight their battles ever since. The real question is, should more soccer teams and their players follow Özil’s example?
Imagine what could be accomplished if each team donated just a part of its winnings to special causes. Earlier in May, Great Britain made it clear that if it were to win the Cup its team would follow customary protocol and donate their £350,000 bonuses, as they do for all international appearances.
It has been rumored that Algeria’s national soccer team will donate its prize money to people in Gaza. When asked about the situation, Algeria’s striker, Islam Simani was quoted to say “they [Gaza] need it more than us.” Greece has also showed humility by rejecting its World Cup prize money. According to The Guardian, the team has requested that its FIFA bonus be used towards something more beneficial in a letter to their Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras.
“We do not want extra bonus, or money. We only play for Greece and its people,” Greek media reported the players as writing. All we want is for you to support our effort to find land and create a sports centre that will house our national team.
This request served as a humble breath of relief after the soccer teams of Cameroon and Ghana made headlines after engaging in heated negotiations about their bonus payments.
Özil has been apart of the German national team since 2009 and became an international sensation during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. During this time, he depicted his great midfield maneuverability and gained acclaim for his great number of assists. He was then nominated for the Golden Ball Award which is the award given to the best player, or most valuable player, of the tournament.
While many chastised and made fun of Brazil for their tragic elimination from the championship, Özil took the time to commemorate the people of Brazil through this tweet,
You have a beautiful country, wonderful people and amazing footballers-this match may not destroy your pride! #Brasil
Come on! Someone give this guy a trophy for being the most humble and respectful player throughout the tournament! I mean, how many 25-year olds do we see giving away their entire paycheck (or in this case, prize money) to such a generous cause after weeks of hard work (and in this case, blood, sweat and weeks of dirty laundry from relentless soccer playing)? But then again, how many 25-year olds make almost $325,000 in several weeks, let alone a year?
Nevertheless, it’s nice to see someone giving back to society this way and we can only hope that more people continue do the same.