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Benevolent Ozil: Germany star donates World Cup winnings to Brazilian kids’ surgeries

Jul 16, 2014, 9:45 PM EST

Germany's Mesut Ozil crosses the ball during the group G World Cup soccer match between Germany and Ghana at the Arena Castelao in Fortaleza, Brazil, Saturday, June 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader) AP

Germany midfielder Mesut Ozil has used his World Cup winnings to help fund the surgeries of 23 Brazilian children.

News of the Arsenal star’s good deed emerged Wednesday evening following a week of misinformation concerning where Ozil directed his winnings.

Originally, a rumor claimed that Ozil had sent his earnings to Gaza. This was then reported and re-reported through various Arabic language outlets before eventually emerging in English publications where it was found to be false.

Earlier today the story grew so large that Ozil’s representatives were forced to issue a public denial, wherein the player’s benevolent actions were clarified. Roland Eitel told the AP:

“The claim that Mesut donated money to Gaza is not true. Maybe in the future, who knows? He donated money to causes in Brazil and he is now on holiday.”

Since then, Ozil has taken to Facebook to update his profile and explain that before the tournament he “supported the surgery” of 11 children in Brazil but that since Germany’s success he has increased that number to 23.

From all of us here at Pro Soccer Talk — Mesut Ozil, we salute you!

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