Friday, July 19, 2024

Ozat calls time on career

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 14 Mar 2009

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Turkey defender Umit Ozat announced his retirement on Saturday, seven months after collapsing during a Bundesliga match for his club Cologne with an inflammation of the heart.

“I believe in destiny, my career is finished, but thanks to God, I am still alive,” said the emotional 32-year-old during a press conference.

The Cologne captain collapsed unconscious during a German league game on August 29 against Karlsruhe.

He was later revived in hospital and was eventually diagnosed as having suffered with an inflamation of the heart muscles.

Ozat later travelled to the United States to consult specialists and was advised to retire rather than endanger his life by resuming his football career at a high-level.

“I’d like to thank the supporters and the people in charge of the club, it was a great honour to play for Cologne,” said the defender who won 41 caps for Turkey.

Ozat will join the coaching staff at Cologne and will help look after the club’s junior sides.

He joined Cologne in 2007 and was part of the team which finished third at the 2002 World Cup having played most of his football for Turkish giants Fenerbache.

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