The duo played with each other for a season at Real Madrid, but who fared better in the Premier League?

Luka Modric’s last season at Tottenham Hotspur in 2011/12 was arguably his best, and one that eventually led to him being snapped up by Real Madrid.

Once there, he featured alongside midfield star Mesut Ozil, but only for one season as the German was offloaded to Arsenal last summer.

As two of the world’s best in their respective roles, who was better in the Premier League? We look at Modric’s final season for Tottenham and compare it to Ozil’s first for Arsenal.


Modric appeared in 36 of Spurs’ 38 league games in his final year at the club, notching four goals and as many assists along the way. His strike against Liverpool at White Hart Lane will be remembered for a long time to come, and it was always going to be hard to keep him with goals like that.

Ozil only managed 26 appearances for Arsenal in his debut season, with injury and fatigue playing its part for the Gunners’ key player. Still, the German racked up a solid five league goals and an impressive nine assists during the league campaign.

  Team Pos Goal Assist Apps Mins
Luka Modric Tottenham Hotspur MF 4 36 3,215
  Team Pos Goal Assist Apps Mins
Mesut Özil Arsenal MF 9 26 2,149


Modric had a total of 83 attempts in his last season with Tottenham, while Ozil only had 30, scoring nearly a fifth of his efforts.

The current Madrid star made 2, 215 accurate passes to give himself an 87% pass completion rate. Arsenal’s Ozil made 1,442 to also finish the season with 87% accuracy. No splitting them there.

  Team Pos Accurate Pass Apps Mins
Luka Modric Tottenham Hotspur MF 2,215 36 3,215
  Team Pos Accurate Pass Apps Mins
Mesut Özil Arsenal MF 1,442 26 2,149

Defensive duties

Ozil was criticised in his first season for his lack of defensive work and tracking back, and his stats prove that it was the case. The 25-year old made just 16 tackles in his 26 appearances, averaging way under one per game. He was also dispossessed 34 times, which suggests his desire to win back the ball was not so high.

Modric had a better defensive showing, making 40 tackles, but was dispossessed 88 times in his final season, proving that he had slightly better discipline but was vulnerable to losing the ball in midfield.

  Team Pos Dispossessed Apps Mins
Luka Modric Tottenham Hotspur MF 88 36 3,215
  Team Pos Dispossessed Apps Mins
Mesut Özil Arsenal MF 34 26 2,149

Overall, Modric and Ozil were pretty neck-and-neck in their respective seasons in the Premier League. Modric edged the German with regard to his defensive duties to the team, while Ozil’s better goal and assist rate in fewer games suggest that he is the stronger of the pair going forward.

Both hit the 87% mark for accuracy with their passing, an equally shared quality. But Modric outlasted Ozil at Madrid, as manager Carlo Ancelotti deemed the latter surplus to requirements at the Bernabeu.

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