German football legend and Laureus Academy Member Franz Beckenbauer has paid tribute to the humanitarian actions of current World Cup star Mesut Özil.
The Arsenal midfielder was presented with a special prize for his charity work after making personal donations which made surgery possible on 23 Brazilian children during the FIFA World Cup.
“I think when you’re awarded by Laureus, it is always something special. I know that from my own experience, since I have already received several honours as well. I believe Mesut truly deserves that, because we know he is socially minded, that he doesn’t keep everything to himself, but that he accordingly passes on to others. He is given credit for that and I think he truly deserves this award,” said Beckenbauer.
Özil’s contribution was acknowledged at the ‘Laureus Media Prize of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation of Germany/Austria’ event in Berlin, at which awards were presented to people and organisations who have demonstrated a special level of social commitment.
Beckenbauer added: “It is important, in view of the fact that you raise awareness of what happens around the world. There are so many unhappy people and miserable areas where clearly something has to be done.”
Mesut Özil, who won the World Cup with Germany just a few months ago, was very proud to be recognized with the Laureus prize and added his charitable work is just beginning: "I am proud to have received this Honorary Prize from Laureus. It's a very special feeling to be included on the list of previous winners. However, I don't just consider this to be merely a prize but also see it as an incentive for me to engage in further social commitment."