Speed Reads

World Cup

German soccer star donates World Cup winnings to needy Brazilian children

German midfielder Mesut Özil plans to spend his ample World Cup winnings not on himself, but on surgeries for 23 Brazilian children. Özil helped cover the surgeries of 11 children before the World Cup began, and used the $600,000 payout from winning the tournament to bump that total up to 23 — matching the number of players on the German team.

"This is my personal thank you for the hospitality of the people of Brazil," Özil wrote on his Facebook page to announce the donation.

Previous reports claimed Özil would be donating the money to children in Gaza, though a spokesman denied the claim. "Maybe in the future, who knows?" his rep, Roland Eitel, told The Independent. "He donated money to causes in Brazil and he is now on holiday."