Mesut Ozil, a religious footballer who hates racism

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Mesut Ozil
Mesut Ozil conducted Friday prayer at Istiqlal mosque, Jakarta. (IO/Pramita Hendra)

Jakarta, IO – German professional footballer Mesut Ozil has been in Indonesia since Tuesday (24/5). The former Werder Bremen, Real Madrid and Arsenal midfielder conducted string of activities have from trying Indonesian cuisine, meeting the Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno and the management of Bali United and performed Friday prayers at Jakarta’s iconic Istiqlal mosque.

“I have always had a dream to be able to worship in this beautiful mosque. Thank you, wassalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,” Ozil was quoted as saying by Okezone, Friday, (27/5).

Mesut Ozil
(IO/Pramita Hendra)

Ozil was born to an immigrant family from Turkey in Gelsenkirchen, Germany on October 15, 1988. His father, Mustafa Ozil, has engaged him in worship since he was a child.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Ozil said the childhood memory he still remembers vividly is fasting. “During Ramadan I would wake up, still feeling sleepy, and then went to the kitchen. The dinner table was already filled with a lot of food,” said Ozil.