Arsenal’s MezutOzil has been announced as the winner of the 2015 German Football Ambassador Public Award. The Arsenal playmaker won the public award for the extensive charity work he has been involved in over the last few years. The prize, which is awarded by the German Foreign Ministry, acknowledges those who positively represent the country abroad and help develop the sport. The Public Prize is decided by a vote from fans and awarded by the German Foreign Ministry, who also recognized United States boss JurgenKlinsmann and former Aston Villa midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger.
“In my job, I can really make a difference in a few ways,” Ozil told Deutsche Welle. “We are very privileged. People who know me will tell you: my goal is to help kids as much as possible. I’ve already talked to my team of helpers and we are going to use the prize money to help young burn victims in Africa. We’ve already set up a plan of how to do it.”
The Gunners’ record £42.5million signing, who played a pivotal role in their 4-0 FA Cup Final success over Aston Villa on Saturday, was presented with the award in London on Tuesday night. The award recognized the German international’s charity work, which is evident through his donation of his prize money to help burn victims in Africa. The midfielder used his prize money from Germany’s triumph last summer to help 23 Brazilian youngsters undergo surgery and Ozil remains committed to starting his own charity, named the MesutOzil Foundation.
“Thank you for this great award. It means a lot to me especially because it was voted for by the fans. I’m also very proud that I can accept this prize.”
It is not the first time Ozil’s charity work has been recognised, with the Arsenal man presented with the Laureus Sport for Good award in November, 2014, for donations made after the World Cup.
“The main aim is that you give children a positive future. There are lots of kids out there who really can barely enjoy life. Our goal is just to make their lives a little nicer,” claimed the Arsenal man.
Ozil enjoyed a solid second half to the season at Arsenal after missing a large portion of the campaign due to a serious knee injury. He played most of Saturday’s final triumph after scoring four goals and notching up five assists for the Gunners as Arsenal finish third in the Premier League table and qualified for the group stage of next season’s Champions League.