Going into the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the young soccer star, Mesut Ozil, didn’t know if his German team would make the finals. But he knew he wanted to help the children of the host country, Brazil.

He supported the surgery of eleven needy Brazilian children through the football charity Big Shoe, which began in Germany during the 2006 FIFA World Cup, after citizens in Wangen collected money for a boy with a cleft lip, on behalf of the Togo national team. He chose to help eleven kids to honor the number of players on a soccer pitch, and as a reminder that the only way to win was to work as one.

On Sunday, 25-year-old Ozil and his teammates proved themselves to be the world’s best team and won the coveted gold cup. Inspired by a bonus of $300,000 given to every German player following their 1-0 victory over Argentina, Ozil announced on his Facebook page yesterday that he wanted to help even more children:

“I will now raise the number to 23 (one for each member of Germany’s 23-man squad). This is my personal thank-you for the hospitality of the people of Brazil.”

His name and face on the charity this week ensures that even more children will get needed surgeries in Brazil and elsewhere, thanks to the good work of “Sommermärchen” (Big Shoe).

(WATCH his video promotion for Big Shoe below)

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