The German national team possesses a squad full of stars which means that their starting 11 seems to be easily interchangeable but perhaps as an exception, playmaker Mesut Ozil is arguably irreplaceable for Die Mannschaft.
Ozil started his professional career at Schalke, joining the club back in 2005 and the young star was regarded as an extremely talented player by the Bundesliga side. However, a contract dispute led to Ozil’s unceremonious exit from Schalke in 2008 and he joined Werder Bremen for a fee of around £3.8million.
Schalke’s loss certainly proved to be Bremen’s gain as Ozil developed into one of the finest young players during his two-and-a-half year stay at the Weserstadion and a stunning performance during the 2010 World Cup earned him a dream move to Real Madrid in the same summer.
Teams he will face in the Euros
72 caps, 19 goals (As of May 15, 2016)
Ukraine, Poland, Northern Ireland
2015/16 club record
45 matches, 8 goals, 20 assists
Premier League experience
83 appearances, 15 goals
Rubbing his shoulders with some of the very best players in the world, Ozil certainly did not look out of place in the star studded Real Madrid lineup and struck a brilliant rapport alongside the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain.
In his three seasons at the Santiago Bernabeu, Ozil managed 27 goals and an astonishing 81 assists in just 159 appearances.
Controversially, Ozil was sold to Arsenal in the summer of 2013 and as a testament to his immense quality, even the parsimonious Arsene Wenger decided to splash £42.5 million to secure his signature.
Despite claiming the FA Cup title Ozil struggled during his debut season at the Emirates but his crowning moment came following the campaign, where he played a crucial role in helping Germany claim the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Since the triumph in Brazil, Ozil has managed to recapture his best form at Arsenal and remains one of the best players in the Premier League at the moment.
Style of Play
Mesut Ozil is an epitome of grace and he seems to float around the pitch effortlessly. A player with wonderful vision and passing ability, Ozil can slice through even the best of defences with a single through ball and he will be given the role of the chief creator for the German national team.
Usually the criticism labeled towards Ozil despite his tremendous prowess in attack, especially following his arrival in England, is the fact that he does not do enough off the ball and easily gets bullied by stronger players.
Ozil has never been the robust kind who flies into tackles but to be fair; he has certainly worked on the physical aspect of his game during his time in England and is no longer a liability when defending.
While it may sound unreasonable, a gifted player like Ozil should perhaps not be burdened by the responsibility of having to cover at the back and Germany manager Joachim Loew is well aware of this fact and will surely set his team up to play to his star man’s strengths.
Did you know?
- Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney urged Sir Alex Ferguson to purchase Ozil following his scintillating performances in the 2010 FIFA World Cup but the legendary manager told the Red Devils’ star to ‘mind his own business’.
- Ozil tried his hand at rapping by recording a song with Jan Delay as part of an advertisement campaign.
- In partnership with Adidas, Ozil has created his own brand and he recently made the announcement to his 7million+ fans on Instagram.
Werder Bremen - DFB-Pokal: 2008–09
Real Madrid - La Liga: 2011–12, Copa del Rey: 2010–11, Supercopa de España: 2012
Arsenal - FA Cup: 2013–14, 2014–15, FA Community Shield: 2015
Germany - FIFA World Cup: 2014; Third Place 2010, UEFA European Under-21 Championship: 2009