Özil playing for German national team in 2011
|Full name||Mesut Özil|
|Date of birth||15 October 1988|
|Place of birth||Gelsenkirchen, West Germany|
|Height||1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Playing position||Attacking midfielder|
|Current club||Real Madrid|
|1995–1998||Westfalia 04 Gelsenkirchen|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20:05, 8 May 2013 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Mesut Özil (German pronunciation: [ˈmeːzut ˈøːzil], Turkish pronunciation: [me̞ˈsut ˈø̞zil]) (born 15 October 1988) is a German footballer who plays for Spanish La Liga club Real Madrid and the Germany national football team. Özil has been a youth national team member since 2006, and a member of the German national team since 2009. He gained international attention during the 2010 FIFA World Cup and was nominated for the Golden Ball Award, which is awarded to the tournament's best player. Following his breakout performance at the World Cup, he was transferred from Werder Bremen to Real Madrid in August 2010.
Özil is acclaimed for his finesse and improvisation as an attacking midfielder. His style and knack for providing assists for his team-mates has been compared to that of Real Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane. In 2011, he ranked first in assists in major European and domestic competitions with 25. In 2012, he ranked first in assists in La Liga with 17. He was also one of the top assist providers in the 2010 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2012 with 3 in both.
Gelsenkirchen and Rot-Weiss Essen
In 2005, he moved to the youth department of FC Schalke 04. He was a midfielder and wore 17 as his squad number, after starting as a playmaker and central attacking midfielder in the place of the suspended Lincoln in Ligapokal matches against Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich. On making the first team there, he was described as "the next big thing," but he eventually fell out with club management and moved on to Werder Bremen in January 2008.
On 31 January 2008, he moved to Werder Bremen for a reported fee of €4.3 million, signing a contract with the German club until 30 June 2011. Fresh off his fallout at Schalke 04, he stepped into the shoes of Brazilian playmaker Diego to help lead the north German club to the 2009 DFB-Pokal with the winning goal in a 1–0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen in Berlin. He also excelled in Europe where he led Werder Bremen to the final of the last ever UEFA Cup, losing out to Shakhtar Donetsk of Ukraine. Although Bremen failed to get going in their 2008–09 Bundesliga season, eventually finishing a disappointing 10th, Özil managed to make a significant impact in most games and came away with a respectable three goals and 15 assists that highlighted his attacking credentials. In his second season, Bremen finished a respectable third, with Özil contributing nine goals and 17 assists in 31 league fixture appearances.
Due to his performances in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, he ensured his place among Europe's top young talents. He was sought by teams like Barcelona, Arsenal, and Manchester United and reports even claimed that a deal was struck for a transfer to Barça. Werder Bremen denied the report and on 17 August 2010, the team announced that they had reached an agreement with Real Madrid. The transfer fee is believed to have been in the region of €15 million. Upon signing, Özil said, "When the offer came in to join Real Madrid, there is no decision to make. Let's be honest – you don't refuse this club. I was in no rush to leave Werder Bremen, but this is one club you say yes to. They are an institution, a club with a fantastic history, stadium and squad full of world-class players. The prospect of performing at the Bernabeu is so awesome you jump straight in."
Özil's jersey numbers were changed often before the season started. He was given the number 26 in the pre-season and 19 for his debut. But following the transfer of Rafael van der Vaart to Tottenham Hotspur, he was given the vacant 23.
Özil was brought in to back up teammate Kaká, but due to his surgery, Özil obtained a starting role. He then made his La Liga debut for Real Madrid as a substitute for Ángel di María in the 62nd minute against Mallorca, which Real Madrid drew 0–0.
He walked off the pitch as a second half substitute to standing ovations in his first two games as a starter at the Santiago Bernabéu. His first goal came in a league match against Deportivo La Coruña on 3 October 2010, in a 6–1 victory. Özil's first Champions League goal with Real came in the 14th minute against Milan on 19 October 2010. On 22 December, he made his debut in the Copa del Rey, scoring once in a 8–0 victory over Levante.
He finished the season with 25 assists, the highest for any player in any major European competition that season. Özil's performances for Real Madrid during his first season were praised by media, fans and players.
Özil began wearing the number 10 shirt for Real Madrid in 2011–12, signalling manager José Mourinho's intent to use the German international as his main playmaker. On 14 August 2011, Özil scored his first goal against Barcelona in El Clásico in the first leg of the 2011 Supercopa de España. On 17 August 2011, Özil was sent off in the last minute of the second leg of the 2011 Supercopa after an altercation with Barça forward David Villa. Özil expressed his desire to end his football days at the club in an interview with German magazine kicker, saying, "I'd like to end my career at Real Madrid. I know it will be difficult because I have many more years ahead of me and many younger and good players will also be out there, but I want to be part of that future. I know what I'm capable of and I'm convinced I'll stay at Real Madrid many years."
He finished atop the La Liga assists chart,with 17 assists. On 2 May 2012, he helped Real Madrid to clinch its 32nd La Liga title as he assisted Real Madrid's first goal and scored the second goal against Bilbao, which Real Madrid later won by 3–0. Eleven days later, Özil scored two goals in the final game of the regular season against RCD Mallorca, once again consolidating his excellent performance with the club. The win made Real the first club in the Spanish top flight to ever reach 100 points in a season. His fine form with Real Madrid and German national team saw him earn nomination for UEFA Best Player in Europe Award, in which he finished 10th, being youngest in Top 10.
With arrival of Luka Modrić before the start of the season, the media claimed that Özil was unhappy at Real Madrid, but he later refuted such talks and claimed that he's happy at the club and is looking forward to compete for the place. After the start of the season, he added the Spanish Super Cup title to his honours. In league play, he provided an important assist to Cristiano Ronaldo who equalized in a 2–2 draw against Barcelona at Camp Nou. On 6 November, Özil scored a crucial 89th-minute free-kick to rescue a draw for Real Madrid and secure a point against Borussia Dortmund. He continued his fine form in the league as he scored another brace against Real Valladolid to rescue Real Madrid in a 3–2 win.
In an interview with FourFourTwo Magazine, Özil spoke about his choice to play for the German national team: "I am third generation in Germany: my father grew up here. Turkey will always be a special country for me but I did not doubt my decision to play for Germany – ever. I started to play for Germany in the youth teams."
In September 2006, Özil was called up for the Germany under-17 team. Özil has been a member of the German under-21 team since 2007. On 29 June 2009, Özil was selected the man of the match in a 4–0 win over England during the U-21 European Championship final.
He made his debut for the senior side during a friendly match against Norway on 11 February 2009. He scored his first goal for the senior team in his third appearance, another friendly, against South Africa on 5 September in Leverkusen at the BayArena.
On an individual level, Özil was rewarded for his outstanding Bundesliga play by being named the best player of the first leg of the 2009 season.
2010 FIFA World Cup
Özil was selected for Germany's squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, starting in all of the team's matches. Özil provided an assist for Cacau's goal to the 4–0 final score against Australia in Germany's first group game. He scored a left-footed half-volley from the edge of the penalty area against Ghana in the final group game, ensuring Germany progressed to the second round as group winners. On 27 June 2010, he played in Germany's win over England in the last 16 match, setting up the fourth goal with a cross to Thomas Müller as Germany triumphed 4–1. During the quarter-final match against Argentina, he assisted the second goal for Miroslav Klose with a cross to ensure the 4–0 final score for the Germans. FIFA announced that he was among the ten tournament players nominated for the Golden Ball.
Özil was one of the leading forces in Germany's qualification for UEFA Euro 2012, scoring five times during the campaign as Germany won 10 out of 10 games to top their group. Özil also confirmed his reputation as a decisive passer, as he provided seven assists, more than any European international during Euro 2012 qualification. When asked about his country's chances at Euro 2012, Özil simply replied, "We have the potential to beat anyone and we have what it takes to win the title." On 29 February 2012, Özil was recognised as Germany's best international of the year for 2011 prior to kick-off at a friendly against France in Bremen. Özil's Germany were drawn with the Netherlands, Denmark and Portugal into Group B at Euro 2012, widely touted as the "Group of death". His performance at Euro 2012 earned him two Carlsberg Man of the Match Awards.
Style of play
Germany under-21 manager Horst Hrubesch once said, "We in Germany are prone to rave about foreign players. We praise Wayne Rooney to the heavens, likewise Ronaldo or Messi. But we have our own Messi. Our Messi is Özil." Özil brings finesse and improvisation to the midfield and his magical left foot can open any doors. Özil possesses great footwork and is known for his amazing passes in difficult situations, setting up his teammates for strikes on goal. He has superb ball control and has great awareness of the game on the pitch, which at its best can devastate any defence. He also boasts a powerful shot from distance, as evident during his match against Ghana during the 2010 FIFA World Cup or in the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifier against Belgium, where in the latter match, he scored a goal which has been described as a "work of art." Germany coach Joachim Löw hails Özil for his 'genius moments' and his performance without the ball. Real Madrid Teammate Xabi Alonso describes Özil as "the kind of player you don't find these days," adding, "He understands the game, sees things, combines and thrives between the lines, unlocking teams," while José Mourinho says, "Ozil is unique. There is no copy of him – not even a bad copy." José Mourinho also stated that, "He is the best number 10 in the world. Everyone loves him and sees a bit of Luis Figo and Zinedine Zidane in him. He will make history at Real Madrid." Assistant coach of the Germany national football team Hans-Dieter Flick says, "We are proud to have him in our team. When he has the ball, you can feel the excitement and astonishment among the fans." Former Holland international Ruud Gullit labelled German Özil as a "technically perfect" player who has "total control of the ball" and has "great imagination".
His nicknames have included "der Rabe" (The Raven, or in Spanish, "El Cuervo") – playing on his smart and opportunistic style of play, and at Werder Bremen “der neue Diego” (the new Diego) in reference to Brazilian Diego, whose playmaker role he inherited, "German Messi" and "German Zidane". At Real Madrid he's supposedly called "Nemo" – in reference to the clownfish Nemo from the Pixar movie Finding Nemo. His attacking midfield partnership in Germany internationals with young talent Mario Götze has earned the 'magic duo' the nickname Götzil, alluding to their similar playing positions, technique, abilities, and style of play.
Özil is a third-generation Turkish-German, who, in reference to his game, concludes, "My technique and feeling for the ball is the Turkish side to my game. The discipline, attitude and always-give-your-all is the German part." Although of Turkish descent, his entire life has been committed to Germany. His ancestors are from Devrek, Zonguldak in North-Western Turkey.
He is a practicing Muslim. He recites the Quran before his matches. Talking to the Berlin-based daily Der Tagesspiegel, Özil said, "I always do that before I go out (on the pitch). I pray and my teammates know that they cannot talk to me during this brief period." He observes fasting during the Islamic month of Ramadan however he has admitted that: "Because of my job I cannot follow Ramadan properly. "I do it only the few days I can, only when I have a free day. But other than that it's impossible, because you have to drink and eat a lot to stay at peak fitness."
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Other||Total|
|Spain||League||Copa del Rey||—||Europe||Other1||Total|
|Real Madrid||La Liga||2010–11||36||6||6||3||—||11||1||—||53||10|
|1||5 September 2009||BayArena, Leverkusen, Germany||South Africa||2–0||2–0||Friendly|
|2||23 June 2010||Soccer City, Johannesburg, South Africa||Ghana||0–1||0–1||2010 FIFA World Cup|
|3||8 October 2010||Olympic Stadium, Berlin, Germany||Turkey||2–0||3–0||UEFA Euro 2012 Qualifying|
|4||7 June 2011||Tofiq Bahramov Stadium, Baku, Azerbaijan||Azerbaijan||0–1||1–3||UEFA Euro 2012 Qualifying|
|5||2 September 2011||Veltins-Arena, Gelsenkirchen, Germany||Austria||2–0||6–2||UEFA Euro 2012 Qualifying|
|6||2 September 2011||Veltins-Arena, Gelsenkirchen, Germany||Austria||4–1||6–2||UEFA Euro 2012 Qualifying|
|7||11 October 2011||Esprit Arena, Düsseldorf, Germany||Belgium||1–0||3–1||UEFA Euro 2012 Qualifying|
|8||15 November 2011||Volksparkstadion, Hamburg, Germany||Netherlands||3–0||3–0||Friendly|
|9||28 June 2012||National Stadium, Warsaw, Poland||Italy||1–2 (pen.)||1–2||UEFA Euro 2012|
|10.||7 September 2012||AWD-Arena, Hanover, Germany||Faroe Islands||2–0||3–0||2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying|
|11.||7 September 2012||AWD-Arena, Hanover, Germany||Faroe Islands||3–0||3–0||2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying|
|12.||11 September 2012||Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Vienna, Austria||Austria||2–0 (pen.)||2–1||2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying|
|13.||12 October 2012||Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland||Republic of Ireland||3–0 (pen.)||6–1||2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying|
|14.||16 October 2012||Olympic Stadium, Berlin, Germany||Sweden||4–0||4–4||2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying|
|Correct as of 16 October 2012|
- Runner-up: 2006–07
- Runner-up: 2007
- Runner-up: 2008–09
- Winner: 2010–11
- 2009 UEFA European U-21 Championship Final – Man of the match.
- 2010 FIFA World Cup Most assists (3) (shared with Thomas Müller, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Kaká, and Dirk Kuyt)
- UEFA Euro 2012 Man of the Match (2): Germany vs Portugal, Germany vs Greece
- UEFA Euro Team of the Tournament: 2012
- UEFA Team of the Year: 2012
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- "Carlsberg Man of the Match Award". UEFA.com. 2 December 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
- "WORLD CUP 2010: England will end up in a Messi if they can't control Germany star Mesut Ozil". dailymail.co.uk. 24 June 2010. Retrieved 9 November 2010.
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- "Am Freitagabend schoss er das entscheidende Tor gegen die Türkei, die Heimat seiner Eltern: Mesut Özil, 21, Sohn eines türkischen Gastwirts und Mittelfeldstar unserer Fußballnationalmannschaft. Porträt eines Intergrations-Erfolgs" (in German). bild.de. 29 October 2010. Retrieved 29 October 2010.
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- Rosentritt, Michael (2 July 2010). "Mesut Özil: Ich habe nie Angst" [Mesut Özil: I am never afraid] (in German). Der Tagesspiegel. "TAGESSPIEGEL: Ihre Art sich direkt vor einem Spiel zu konzentrieren ist es, Verse aus dem Koran leise vor sich hin zu sprechen. MESUT ÖZIL: Das mache ich in der Kabine, bevor wir rausgehen. Ich bete dann und meine Mitspieler wissen schon, dass sie in dieser kurzen Zeit nicht mit mir reden können."
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Mesut Özil|
- Real Madrid official profile
- Profile at La Liga
- Mesut Özil at kicker.de (German)
- Mesut Özil at fussballdaten.de (German)
- The Polite Boy with the Faux-Hawk
- ESPN Profile
- BDFutbol profile
- Transfermarkt profile
- 2010 FIFA World Cup profile
- Mesut Özil at National-Football-Teams.com
- Mesut Özil – FIFA competition record