Arsenal's Ozil the best at the World Cup in key area - Outperforms Messi

Ozil V Cardiff

Arsenal and Germany's Mesut Ozil has made more passes than any other player in the final third at the World Cup.

Mesut Ozil is a player under pressure to perform for his country, but his effectiveness in wearing down the opposition cannot be faulted.

The German international playmaker has made an average of 24.5 passes per game in the final third of the pitch over his two matches so far, a statistic which is better than any other performer in Brazil.

He edges it from Portugal's Joao Moutinho - but in less game time, with Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi among those trailing behind.

  TeamPosSuccessful Final Third Passes / appsTotal Att Assist / appsAppsMins
Mesut Özil Germany MF 24.50 2.50 2 153
João Moutinho Portugal MF 23.50 4.00 2 180
Miralem Pjanic Bosnia and Herzegovina MF 20.33 4.00 3 270
Mathieu Valbuena France MF 20.00 3.00 2 160
Toni Kroos Germany MF 19.50 1.50 2 180
Andrés Iniesta Spain MF 19.00 2.00 3 270
Blaise Matuidi France MF 18.33 1.00 3 247
Keisuke Honda Japan FW 17.67 2.33 3 270
Lionel Messi Argentina FW 17.67 3.33 3 243
Karim Benzema France FW 17.33 4.00 3 270

What Ozil has to work on however is ensuring he builds on his possession in the final third to sharper his cutting edge.

He has made an average of 2.5 key passes per game, while Moutinho, Karim Benzema, and Miralem Pjanic each average 4 per game.

Ozil has promised Germany will go for the win against USA, despite a draw ensuring both teams will qualify for the knockout phase.

After a 4-0 win over Portugal and a 2-2 draw against Ghana, Germany stand only a miniscule chance of elimination even if they lose thanks to their strong goal difference.

Ozil will be expected to find gaps in a USA defence which has looked shaky during the first two games, and create more chances than he has been. 

His start may have been unspectacular in terms of a highlight reel, but Ozil is performing solidly and when it comes to making passes in and around the box, nobody is more prolific. All he needs now is a bit of fortune.

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