Four days after helping his German Arsenal team win soccer's World Cup, Mesut Ozil is donating his game winnings to “the children of Gaza,” reports said. The funds represent the bonuses he received for playing through the World Cup series games, with $300,000 of the sum awarded to him in the aftermath of the final game last Sunday.
Ozil, born in Turkey, is an observant Muslim who recites Koranic verses before games. However, he has not been fasting during the current Ramadan month, when adult Muslims are expected to refrain from eating and drinking during the day, breaking the fast only at sundown.
Ozil's publicity agent did not confirm the report, saying that as far as he knew, the money had been donated to orphanages in Brazil.
Earlier, the Algerian team voted to donate all of its collective winnings – 5.25 British pounds – to Gaza. According to team captain Islam Slimani, the team made the decision because “Gaza needs the money more than we do.”