Arsenal and Germany attacker attracted criticism for his international displays but we highlight his areas of excellence.

A hat-trick of Arsenal players emerged from the recent World Cup tournament in Brazil as champions, with Lukas Podolski making two cameo appearances over 53 minutes, Per Mertesacker lining-up five times and Mesut Ozil featuring in every single game for Germany.

Out of them all, though, it is the trequartista who has once again had to fend off criticism for his performance-level with the Daily Mail running a hyperbolic appraisal of the Gunner following Germany’s 7-1 rout over Brazil at the semi-final stage.

Despite 55 touches on the football, an 88% passing accuracy, one successful dribble, two shots on goal, two goal-scoring opportunities created and one direct assist, he “barely registered an important kick” according to an article that has since been deleted.

  Nation Touch /App Pass Accuracy Chance Created /App Assist App Min
Mesut Ozil Germany 66.3 86.9% 2.4 (17) 1 7 654

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Renowned for his creativity and ability to influence a match at club-level, Ozil was still on the ball a lot (66 touches on a per game average), returned a commendable passing accuracy (almost 87%) and created 17 goal-scoring opportunities (2.4 on average each match) – one of which turned into a direct assist.

When it comes to each category, though, Ozil was overshadowed by other World Cup athletes.

Daniele de Rossi, Andrea Pirlo and fellow German Toni Kroos received the most amount of touches on a per game basis with 116, 105 and 104 hauled in respectively; Sergio Busquets and Serey Die enjoyed a 97% passing accuracy; Xherdan Shaqiri created 4.25 goal-scoring opportunities on a per game average and Juan Guillermo Cuadrado was the tournament’s most prolific assist provider with four for the competition.

Arsenal’s current record purchase at £42.4 million, Ozil still topped the charts in certain areas.

  Nation Pos Successful Final Third Passes Total Final Third Passes Apps Mins
Mesut Ozil Germany MF 171 210 7 654
Toni Kroos Germany MF 168 210 7 689
Philipp Lahm Germany MF 132 167 7 690
Bastian Schweinsteiger Germany MF 119 140 6 505
Lionel Messi Argentina FW 111 160 7 693
Thomas Muller Germany FW 91 142 7 682
Arjen Robben Netherlands MF 89 106 7 690
Blaise Matuidi France MF 80 97 5 427
Joao Moutinho Portugal MF 80 96 3 270
Marcelo Brazil DF 79 112 6 570

When it comes to passes that originate from outside the final third to ones that penetrate that zone, Ozil is the tournament leader.

And there are also other areas where the 25-year-old thrust himself into the leading bracket of international footballers.

Ozil was joint second when it came to chances created, providing 17 goal-scoring opportunities for his team-mates – six behind bracket leader Lionel Messi, of Argentina.

  Nation Pos Chances Created Apps Mins
Lionel Messi Argentina FW 23 7 693
Thomas Muller Germany FW 17 7 682
Arjen Robben Netherlands MF 17 7 690
Xherdan Shaqiri Switzerland MF 17 4 387
Mesut Ozil Germany MF 17 7 654

Ozil was second when it came to winning possession in the attacking third, defending from the front, with six being enough to edge ahead of Gonzalo Higuain, Arjen Robben and Yaya Toure. Neymar, with 11 in total, was five ahead of the German.

  Nation Pos Possession Won in Attacking 3rd Apps Mins
Neymar Brazil FW 11 5 457
Mesut Ozil Germany MF 6 7 654
Gonzalo Higuain Argentina FW 5 7 572
Arjen Robben Netherlands MF 5 7 690
Yaya Toure Côte d’Ivoire MF 5 3 270

Ozil was fifth when it came to winning corners – a considerable attacking feat when considering the threat posed from set-piece scenarios. Ozil won eight corners in total, the most out of any player from the World Cup winners, but was still four adrift of Angel di Maria, of finalists Argentina.

  Nation Pos Won Corners Apps Mins
Angel Di Maria Argentina MF 12 5 422
Arjen Robben Netherlands MF 11 7 690
Neymar Brazil FW 9 5 457
Jose Holebas Greece DF 8 4 390
Mesut Ozil Germany MF 8 7 654

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