Mesut Ozil: Arsenal midfielder and fiancee to fund surgery for 1,000 children

It may be their big day, but Mesut Ozil and his wife to-be Amine Gulse will mark their wedding with a gesture to help children around the world.

The couple, who tie the knot on Friday, are paying for 1,000 children to have life-changing surgery.

Ozil has chosen to forego receiving traditional gifts and asked guests to donate to a charity which funds operations for children in developing countries who suffer from burns, club feet and cleft lip and palate.

In 2014, the Arsenal midfielder, 30, donated his 2014 World Cup winnings – a estimated £240,000 – to pay for 23 Brazilian children to have surgery.

“Many fans have asked me, my close relatives and friends about our wishes for tomorrow’s wedding,” the former Germany international wrote in a social media post.

“As a professional footballer I am in a fortunate and privileged position. However, I invite everyone who is willing and able to help to support a very special project close to both of our hearts.

“Amine and I will bear the expenses for surgeries of 1,000 children in need.”

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