Ballack slams Arsenal star Mesut Ozil

German legend criticises countryman Mesut Ozil just days before World Cup opener against Portugal.

Former Germany midfielder Michael Ballack has criticised the attitude of former team-mate Mesut Ozil just days before the start of his World Cup campaign.

Ballack, who watched Ozil move up the ranks of the German national side, believes the Arsenal man’s attitude in his debut Premier League season was below the standards expected of him.

Ozil scored seven times for the Gunners in a campaign that seemed to start positively, but ultimately ended up disappointing in terms of his performances.

The 25-year-old has been widely tipped to return stronger next season, after a year settling in at the FA Cup winners.

But former Bayern Munich and Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack says Ozil should have stayed to fight for his place at Real Madrid, and that his body language in the Premier League has been poor.

'For me in particular, I would have liked to see more time fighting in Madrid [from Ozil]', Ballack reportedly said in a Q&A with Spanish publication Marca.

'It was a shame, because I'm sure Cristiano Ronaldo and Benzema would have loved him to continue, because Ozil is a very generous player.'

‘His transfer from Madrid to Arsenal started fine, but then it has been hard to adapt, because English football is very complicated.

'He is a free player on the field, which has great influence on the game, with amazing quality, but sometimes his body language is not what it should be for a player of his class.'

Ozil was often criticised by the Arsenal fan-base last season for his failure to fulfil defensive duties, while he was also confronted by club captain Per Mertesacker following the 6-3 loss to Manchester City, for failing to applaud the travelling support.

The 2010 World Cup in South Africa was very much the making of Ozil, and a tournament that provided the catalyst for his move to Real Madrid. This time around the German has a point to prove, and will need to be at his very best to fire his country out of a tough group containing Portugal, Ghana and the USA.

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