Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil was presented with a Laureus Sport for Good award in Berlin on Wednesday night after spending his World Cup bonus on operations for Brazilian children following Germany’s triumph in the South American nation in July.
Having helped Joachim Low’s side to victory over Argentina at the Maracana, the ‘Gunners’ midfielder opted to splash his bonus money on operation for a total of 23 seriously ill Brazilian kids.
The 26-year-old partnered with the organisation ‘Big Shoe’ to sponsor surgeries for children primarily suffering from cleft lips and palates, in the city of Coroatá.
Ozil, who has said he faces further seven weeks on the sidelines with a “partial lateral collateral ligament tear in his left knee,” was delighted with the result of his generous donation.
“We had the idea to help 23 children, because we had 23 players in the (Germany World Cup) squad,” Ozil said after picking up the award at the ‘Laureus Media Prize of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation of Germany/Austria’ in Berlin on Wednesday night.
“And they underwent surgery, which was successful. I am very thankful. The doctor did a great job. I am very happy because it goes well for the children.
We wanted to make a lasting mark in the World Cup country of Brazil and this is something which I think we managed to achieve with the operations on these children…Mesut Ozil on winning a Laureus Sport for Good award.
“This award will get a very special place in my home.”
Ozil also confirmed his plans to continue helping deprived children, saying: “Thank you for this Laureus award. “I promise that this will be the beginning of further projects for disadvantaged children.”
Ex-Gunners goalkeeper Jens Lehmann also earned for himself a Laureus Media award for his impact on the sporting world.