Germany midfielder Mesut Ozil has cleared rumours about him donating his 2014 World Cup bonus money to the children of Gaza, by revealing that he had actually given the amount to fund the surgeries of sick children in Brazil.
The 25-year-old was a part of the squad that lifted the 2014 World Cup, after emerging victorious against Argentina in the final, thanks to an extra time strike from Mario Gotze.
Following their triumph in the World Cup (for the first time since 1990), all German players received a bulky sum of money for their efforts in the tournament. And Ozil, instead of wasting his share on celebrations, decided to give away the bonus money as charity.
Earlier, reports had suggested that Ozil had made a very generous contribution to the children of Gaza, who are suffering due to the ongoing issues between Hamas and Israel.
However, the Arsenal midfielder's representative Roland Eitel has now revealed that Ozil had donated his World Cup bonus to sponsor the surgeries of children in Brazil.
"The claim that Mesut donated money to Gaza is not true," Eitel told the Independent. "Maybe in the future, who knows? He donated money to causes in Brazil and he is now on holiday."
The former Real Madrid man also took to his Facebook page to reveal the truth to his fans.
Before the 2014 World Cup, Ozil had pledged to fund the surgeries of 11 poor children in Brazil, due to him being a part of the BigShoe charity campaign.
However, after Germany won the 2014 World Cup, Ozil says he will now sponsor 23 children (for every player in Germany's squad) as a token of gratitude to the host nation.
"Prior to the #WorldCup I supported the surgery of eleven sick children. Since the victory of the #WorldCup is not only due to eleven players but to our whole team, I will now raise the number to 23. This is my personal thank-you for the hospitality of the people of Brazil. #Bigshoe #Brasil2014," Ozil posted on his Facebook page.