Mesut Ozil plays football with child refugees in Jordan

Arsenal star playmaker  Mesut Ozil has visited a refugee camp in Jordan and played football with the children who live there. The midfielder went to the Zaatari Refugee Camp on 18 May, in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR) and the Asian Football Development Project (AFDP).

Ozil was given a tour around the camp, before playing a match with young girls and boys. The AFDP have been running since 2012 in Zaatari, using football to try and bring a sense of normalcy to the kids who inhabit the camp.

One child, Abdul Raouf Khaled, was wearing Ozil’s number 10 shirt from when he played for Real Madrid. Khaled said, “I learned some movements from him and this is the first time I play with a famous star like him and I hope to become a star like him”.

Another keen player,13-year-old Khadijah Abdo Suwlim, said, “We love football and this our favourite game and we love that he teaches us and we learn from him”.

Adult football fans in the camp were exciting about seeing the World Cup winner. Syrian football coach Mohammad al Zu’bi said that visits like this one showed the children that people are thinking of them.

“[Having] a player like Ozil in the camp gives a motivation for children that the big players are thinking about them. There are players who think about us, care about them at the same time”.

After visiting Zaatari, Ozil travelled to Youth City in Amman with Prince Bin Al Hussein, the President of the Jordan Football Association, and the Chairman on AFDP, where they met Jordanian footballers.

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