After helping Germany lift the World Cup midfilder Mesut Ozil has captured the hearts of Brazilian youngsters, after revealing he has donated around £350,000 of his personal winnings to 23 children’s surgeries in the South American country, Telegraph.co.uk reports.
The Arsenal playmaker confirmed the news on his Facebook page, and wrote, “Prior to the World Cup I supported the surgery of eleven sick children. Since the victory of the World Cup is not only due to 11 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.”
His donation sparked confusion on social media sites, with many claiming that his earnings were to be sent to the children of Gaza to aid their recent plight.
Reports had claimed that the 25-year-old German international, who is of Turkish descent and is a practicing Muslim, donated the money to the children of Gaza.
GolTV posted a picture of a dirty Real Madrid Ozil jersey on Facebook, and added a caption that Özil would be giving his World Cup winnings to Gaza after “a child was assassinated wearing his jersey.”
The rumours, which started to circulate on Twitter on July 11, led to his represenative, Roland Eitel, to deny them.
“The claim that Mesut donated money to Gaza is not true,” he said. “Maybe in the future, who knows? He donated money to causes in Brazil and he is now on holiday.”
Each member of Germany’s squad received £240,000 for defeating Argentina at the Maracana and Ozil’s donation is part of the BigShoe project – whose goal is to help underprivileged children with medical needs.