At 3:07 p.m. Istanbul local time the time had come.
Mesut Özil took a seat on the podium in the press room to popular fanfare music.
In a black suit, the celebrated savior of Fenerbahce Istanbul sat in front of a crowd of journalists, politicians and selected fans.
They all wore masks, but the minimum distance was waived because of the historical events around the capital city club.
What followed was a player performance that was probably unparalleled in the history of world football.
A woman in a yellow trouser suit led through the afternoon.
After the moderator had really greeted everyone who is in any way connected to Fenerbahce and Özil, she whispered the news of the day into the microphone in a surprisingly concrete manner: "The famous Mesut Özil introduces himself today."
Mesut Özil during his introduction as a new player at the Turkish football club Fenerbahce Istanbul
Source: dpa / Uncredited
After seven and a half years at Arsenal FC, Özil moved to Istanbul just over a week ago and is expected to play there until 2024.
The club, on the media reports, debts in the three-digit million range, pays the 32-year-old midfielder three million euros per season.
An endless eulogy
But back to the idea.
First of all, Ali Koc spoke.
The financially strong president of the Blue-Yellows thanked all supporters of the spectacular superstar commitment, welcomed the important representatives of our “dear state” and mentioned that 150 journalists from abroad had asked for accreditation.
Then Koc started a half-hour monologue, which alternated somewhere between self-congratulation and declaration of love for the new superstar.
“This transfer will definitely lead us to new records.
God willing, we will all celebrate the next successes together with the Mesut family.
Turkish football will win through Özil. ”Özil himself smiled a little embarrassed.
It shouldn't have been the last time that afternoon.
President Koc explains the background
This was followed by a brief introduction to the sensational negotiating skills of Koc and the other people in charge at Fenerbahce.
Shortly after Özil's wedding in June 2019, work began on a transfer.
Last winter, an Istanbul delegation flew to London with a delay to find out whether "Özil would come or whether he would look down on us".
When it was noticed what a big Fenerbahce fan the Gelsenkirchen native is and how little value he attaches to material things, they “nailed their heads”.
In London, Özil is reported to have earned around £ 500,000 - per week.
Özil (2nd from right) stands next to two boys who are showing his new jersey with the number 67.
President Ali Koc is speaking on the left
Source: dpa / Uncredited
In between, Koc never tired of admiring his new figurehead.
It sounded something like this: “Since 2014 Mesut has been one of the most important players in the world.
The world has seen him give Arsenal even more shine.
He has shaped world football for the past ten years.
His fame brought him financial means that he gratefully accepted. ”The fact that Özil had already played his last competitive game for the Londoners in March 2020 was politely concealed.
Frenetic cheers from the press
Instead, the President was repeatedly interrupted by frenetic applause in the hall.
Journalists and fans alike clapped their hands red.
It was like a party congress.
But Koc also tried not to give the impression that Özil had lost touch with reality.
That a world star like him takes care of children and is a role model for them is particularly valuable.
Koc also presented the appropriate slogan: “Be Mesut.
After sports director Emre Belözoglu was allowed to summarize the words of his boss pro forma in a few short sentences differently, but somehow immediately, in order not to give the impression that he was just wasting oxygen, an image film flickered across a huge screen in the hall.
Then Özil speaks himself
Fenerbahce had apparently sent a club reporter to a mining region.
Not to Gelsenkirchen, but to the region from which Özil's ancestors came: the northern Turkish province of Zonguldak.
At least now you felt involuntarily reminded of Sascha Baron Cohen, who as journalist Borat Sagdiyev in the film of the same name praised the advantages of his homeland Kazakhstan.
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In Mesut Özil's homeland, people have a clear conscience that it is as white as the snow that lies there, according to the film.
They are very proud that Özil is now playing for Fenerbahce.
“He has never forgotten that he is a Turk, that he is a Muslim,” says one man.
Özil has also already hoisted the Fenerbahce club flag on his property.
If you are wondering if the vowed one himself spoke up sometime that afternoon, he did.
After 39 minutes, Özil was allowed to say something: “I am really very excited and really happy.
It was a dream for me.
It's going to be a really great connection for us.
I've always been a fan. "
Unpleasant questions are ignored
Anyone who thought that maybe a little more would get over Özil's lips after all, was a little disappointed.
Whereby disappointment or even just a bad mood that afternoon did not fit into the supporting program at all.
President Koc watched over this with the ears of a lynx.
Dancing out of line was forbidden.
This is what some of the questions asked by the press tried to do.
In order to draw the boss's anger, it didn't even need a particularly critical comment.
The hall in Istanbul was filled to the last seat with journalists.
Of course they wanted to ask their questions.
But please not everyone
Source: dpa / Uncredited
When a reporter simply asked about further additions, Koc said: “We're skipping this question.
Next question. "In the meantime, Özil was allowed to answer briefly himself, spoke about pressure and emphasized:" I will try to do the best I can on the field.
Fenerbahce is the team that I love.
I hope to God that everything will be fine. "
A journalist wanted to know whether his skills were a pioneer for Turkish footballers in Germany and whether he could encourage them to move to Turkey.
Again the boss intervened personally: “The doors open when they open.
Maybe more will want to come to us when they see that we have received Mesut. "
Özil rules out Bundesliga return
When asked about a possible return to the Bundesliga, Özil was again allowed to answer alone: "No," was his unsurprising answer.
He laughed, but also looked carefully to the left at his president.
Fortunately, he laughed too.
Applause broke out.
In the middle of it all, Özil congratulated a connected fan on the wedding and sent "warm greetings to his brothers in Azerbaijan".
The next question was asked in a voice that was slightly trembling with awe.
How did Özil get the gift of analyzing the playing field so quickly?
“My way of playing is to think about,” replied the person asked.
As the pompous performance slowly came to an end, a media representative dared to spoil the cotton candy mood.
Topic German national team.
President Koc, concerned about the good mood at his welcome party, immediately intervened: “Well, this thing is something that is always written very negatively about it.
So I would suggest that we ... "When Koc noticed that his paternal-looking censorship was perhaps a bit exaggerated, he quickly followed up and gave Özil the floor:" You are welcome to say what happened when we left. "He now answers in fact straight out: “Once I've taken a path, I'll never turn back.
I wish the German national team every success, but I'll never play there again. "
Immense expectations of Özil
After about an hour, the new hero of the city had been sufficiently praised, flattered and welcomed from the point of view of those responsible for Fenerbahce.
All that was missing that afternoon in Istanbul was just a multi-tiered cream cake with Özil's likeness and an answer to the question of why the midfielder, despite all his love for his childhood club, couldn't bring himself to move earlier.
The coming weeks will show whether Özil can meet the immense expectations of the club and its fans.
And whether the affection remains exuberant - almost unpleasantly - when it isn't.
Financially, the move should be worthwhile for the stiff Istanbulers anyway.
Koc also bluntly admitted that.
Mesut Özil is not only a footballer, but also has huge commercial potential: "We have to exploit that."