A key member of Germany’s World Cup 2014 winning team, this Arsenal playmaker of Turkish descent was awarded the Bambi award in 2010 for being a prime example of successful integration into German society. In 2018, after receiving criticism for posing with Turkey’s President and Germany’s poor World cup performances, Özil announced his retirement from international football. He said “I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose,”. He has a massive social media following—one of the highest in the world among sportspeople with a staggering 81 million online fans. He received backlash from the Chinese government after vocally speaking out against mistreatment of the Uyghur population.
Source of Influence: Celebrities & Sports
Status: Featured in current year