Kaka impressed by Arsenal's 'amazing' Mesut Ozil

The Brazilian has been pleased to see his former Real Madrid teammate start to show his worth in recent months.

Mesut Ozil has endured his fair share of criticism since joining Arsenal but former Real Madrid teammate Kaka has told Sky Sports how he’s been more than impressed with the German’s recent performances.

Kaka and Ozil battled one another for minutes at Real between 2010 and 2013, before both left the Bernabeu in September 2013 after being deemed surplus to requirements following the arrivals of Isco and Gareth Bale.

While the Brazilian returned to familiar surroundings, re-joining AC Milan, his fellow midfielder headed off for a new challenge at the Emirates Stadium, where he has since struggled to live up to his club-record £42.5 million price tag.

A slow start to this season was compounded in October after the German World Cup winner was ruled out for 12 weeks with ruptured knee ligaments, but his subsequent return to the side has marked a noticeable upturn in form.

Starting 17 of the past 18 games, the mercurial attacker hasn’t managed to produce the goals and assists at the rate some have been hoping for but Kaka nevertheless believes he has now turned a corner.

However, after Ozil himself claimed in March that he could win the Ballon d’Or within the “next few years”, the award’s 2007 winner has warned that he still has plenty of work ahead of him before he can become a legitimate contender.

“He’s an amazing player,” said Kaka, who is now captaining MLS expansion side Orlando City SC in their inaugural season. “He’s so smart, so intelligent. The time we played together was amazing. We had a very good relationship on and off the field.

“He can do a lot of things with Arsenal, [but] to win the Ballon d’Or doesn’t just depend on him. It depends on a lot of other things. You have to win a lot of things to arrive at that award.”

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch