Photos and videos of German football star Mesut Özil performing the Umrah pilgrimage, in Makkah, have gone viral on social media. The Arsenal mid-fielder is one of the most popular Muslim football stars in the world along with Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) and Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United) among others.
The German football star was recently in Dubai and Jordan before heading to Makkah for the pilgrimage.
Özil, who is of Turkish origin, was recently in Dubai where he gave tips to young budding footballers. He also visited Jordan where he played football with young refugees at the Zaatari camp.
The 27-year-old footballer star was named German Football Ambassador in 2015 and is also one of the most prominent Muslim sports stars in the world.
Known for his charity work, in a 2015 interview to The Times, a modest Özil said: ‘I want to help people in need but I don’t want people to know I’m doing it. Usually I don’t like talking about it. I come from a background where you don’t show off the good things you do. It’s modesty.
“My aim is helping kids. Kids are the future. I love children. I’m thinking of my own childhood. I know where I’m from. If I wanted something, I couldn’t get it. Life wasn’t easy.”
Umrah is a pilgrimage that Muslim can perform at any time of the year.
The young football star can often be seen reciting a prayer and making a dua before stepping on to the field.
Earlier in 2010, French great, Franck Ribéry was recorded performing Umrah in Makkah.