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Mesut Özil (Arsenal 2013–)

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Aloitetaan tämä mielipiteetkin jakavalle pelaajalle omistettu ketju loistavalla haastattelulla. Jatkossa lisää keskustelua, materiaalia ja pohdintaa koskien Mesut Özilia tänne.

Senior Career
Schalke 04 2006–2008
Werder Bremen 2008–2010
Real Madrid 2010–2013
Arsenal 2013–
 

'I've always felt right at home here'
 
It was 18th century writer Samuel Johnson who stated: “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."
 
Mesut Özil smiles when he hears the quote. “I’ve always felt at home here,” he nods. “London is a different calibre, a city with so many different cultures and that’s something I’ve never seen before. That gives me the opportunity not just to learn one culture. Wherever I go, you get to meet so many different types of people and that’s something that fascinates me.
 
“That’s also why I love living in London. It’s just unparalleled and when my family who live in Germany come to visit London, they are all really positive about the city and how nice it is. I can only confirm that.”
 
Mesut grew up in Gelsenkirchen, a heavily-industrialised city in Germany’s Ruhr. It was here, in the concrete Affenkafig - or monkey cage - that the World Cup winner first honed his talent. Football was a part of his daily routine. It didn’t matter if it was dark or if it was snowing. He would always play, mostly with his older brother and friends, often pretending to be Zinedine Zidane.
 
At the time of the 2009 German Census, the small suburb in which he spent his childhood, Bismarck, was home to around 16,000 inhabitants. On first viewing, the area could not be much more different to London. But just like England’s capital city, Bismarck is a cultural melting pot, housing people from all over the world.
 
“The neighbourhood I grew up in was one where lots of foreigners had settled,” Mesut explained to the official matchday programme last year. “Not just Turks but people from all over: Lebanese, Middle Eastern, African, a real mixture! It maybe wasn’t the nicest neighbourhood or the prettiest but I had so many friends living nearby, friends from all those different backgrounds, and that meant I loved my childhood there.
 
“Some families in my neighbourhood occasionally went through difficult times and football was the answer for us children. It was an escape for us. You loved playing because it meant you had no problems. You would stand on the pitch and football would be the only thing. It didn't matter if you were rich or poor or if you were German or Turkish. Football united us and we'd always be in such a good mood afterwards.”
 
Embracing different ways of life has always been vital for Mesut. His grandparents moved to Germany as guest workers and his grandfather worked in the mines, eventually settling in North Rhine-Westphalia, the country’s most-populated state. That multicultural upbringing helped him to settle quickly into London when he arrived in 2013.
 
“It’s really nice, to live here especially because I didn’t have to acclimatise to anything, he explains. “In Madrid, you have to slightly adapt to the Spanish culture. But because of the many cultures here, it gave me the opportunity not to have to really adjust to the way of life. You have many different cultures here.
 
“It’s really good. You have the opportunity to take a bit from every culture. If you want English, Japanese or German cuisine, you can have that. There’s a bit of all cultures here and that’s why it’s never boring. You have lots of opportunities to try new things, and it’s exactly like that with food. Nowhere else do you have the possibilities that you have in London. That’s why I like to go out in the evening and try different things, not just one type. I especially like Turkish food but am open to trying food from other cultures and I do that.”
 
Mesut is no stranger to experiencing new environments - he was only 19 when he moved some 150 miles away from home to join Werder Bremen from hometown club Schalke 04.
 
“Gelsenkirchen is where I was born and grew up, and where my family and friends live,” he says. “I’m really connected to the city. I began my football career there and have really nice memories of Schalke. At the time I had a coach, Norbert Elgert, who always supported me so well and took me forward, just like Schalke. I had the opportunity to play professional football there and because of that I’m very thankful for that time.
 
“Then I went to Bremen and had some really nice times there. People from Bremen love Werder and when I think back to my spell there, it was a great experience for me. I really enjoyed living there and the people were very friendly.”
 
His two-year stint in north Germany took Mesut to the next level. He scored the winner in the DFB Pokal final - the country’s equivalent to the FA Cup - in his first full season at the club and helped Werder to qualify for the Champions League in the next. After impressing both domestically and at the 2010 World Cup, Mesut was on the move again, this time to Real Madrid.
 
“In 2010, I took my next step and moved to Madrid,” he remembers. “That’s something I’m very, very proud of. I was able to work with some of the best footballers in the world and the city was interesting, because it’s a world city too. The weather was great - for six or seven months, you would only see the sun. I experienced a lot there, enjoyed my time.”
 
Then, of course, came Arsenal and the subsequent move to London.
 
“I’ve always felt comfortable here, especially because my friends and team-mates have supported me so well,” he remarks. “The city is very interesting too.
 
“I really like the English culture, and the sense of humour. For example after we won the FA Cup final in 2014, I shouted “ja Gunners ja” into the camera and it’s almost become a cult here. The fans have supported me so well and that’s why I do it. When I post on Instagram, I always use the hashtag #YaGunnersYa. I like that humour and find it nice.
 
“I like to be in London because the city has so much to offer. That’s why I love living here. I don’t think you have as many choices as in London anywhere else in Europe. There are many things to do here, many options for how you spend your time, and that’s really good for us. I come from Gelsenkirchen, from a small city where there aren’t as many options as in London. That’s why I’m relishing my time here.”
 
Family play a particularly important part in Mesut’s life and with London only an hour’s flight away from Germany, opportunities to spend time with his nearest and dearest are often forthcoming.
 
“Especially when I’m at home, the people who know me are aware that I don’t really like to talk about football. I prefer to switch off completely. That’s why I spend a lot of time with my family and friends. They know me and know how I like to switch off. When I’m off the pitch, it’s most important for me to spend that time with my family.
 
"The fans have supported me so well and that’s why I do it.
When I post on Instagram, I always use the hashtag #YaGunnersYa.
I like that humour and find it nice"
– Mesut Özil

“I like to spend time with my friends. What do we do? We often go out to restaurants in the evening. I’ve got a favourite restaurant in north London, where I go a lot. Apart from that, we’ll do things spontaneously. My family and friends often come to visit and we’ll decide what we want to do. If they want to get to know the city and see the tourist attractions, we’ll go and take a picture as a nice memory. We won’t strictly arrange exactly what we’re going to do and say ‘right today we’re going to do this, this and this’.

“I also like spending time at home but we don’t just stay there. In fact it’s the opposite, we venture out and go and see places “In the past I heard a lot about London and how interesting the city is. Before I joined Arsenal, I had never actually visited the city. Now I live here and am enjoying it.”
 
That enjoyment is not just limited to Mesut’s life away from football. His performances in the second half of the 2014/15 season give testament to that. The playmaker produced probably his most consistent run of form in an Arsenal shirt upon returning from a knee injury in January, winning two player of the month awards and crowning the campaign with a second FA Cup winner’s medal in as many years.
 
“I feel at my happiest when I’m on the pitch with a ball at my feet and I’m really enjoying that now,” he told us in the June edition. It’s clear that Mesut is relishing life at present - both on and away from the football pitch. And with the boy from Bismarck hungry for more success, there is every chance that the 2015/16 season could be a very special one for him and for Arsenal.

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Mesut Özil pelasi Crystal Palacea vastaan omasta puolestaan lähes täydellisen ottelun ja sai kiitokseksi aplodit myös Crystal Palacen kannattajilta.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-J_3Gvmj04

 

_____________________________________________________

 

 

Why Özil will always be underrated outside Arsenal

 

mesut-ozil-masterclass-696x348.jpg

 

I don’t often agree with José Mourinho.
I doubt I’m alone in that, and to be honest it’s something of a standard that I apply to assess how credible someone’s footballing opinions are. But when it comes to Mesut Özil, the Chelsea manager is one of the few people who are prepared to speak out about the quality of our playmaker.
 
When you watch Özil week in, week out, it’s easy to appreciate his ability and his intrinsic value to this Arsenal team, but our number eleven has found it difficult to convince those outside of Arsenal of his talents. The question is why?
 
Selfless
Individual honours are usually won by players who like to be the centre of attention. When you think of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Alexis (Sánchez), Eden Hazard and (at a lower level) Harry Kane, one thing they all have in common is they like to be on the end of chances, they like to be the ones making the obvious difference. It’s hard to think of player more opposed to this approach than Özil.
 
When off the ball, he makes clearing runs to create space for others and drifts wide to allow others to ghost through the centre. When the opposition have possession he is focussed, not on individual ball-winning, but on the collective team approach to closing off passing lanes and denying options.
 
And when he’s in possession of the football, Özil is equally selfless. He takes the old Brian Clough saying, “Give it to someone better than you,” and transforms it into “Give it to someone better placed than you.”

 

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Mesut’s style
As well as eschewing the limelight in favour of making the right decision, he also focusses on doing the simple things perfectly rather than trying the spectacular. Of course, he shows us in glimpses exactly what he is capable of, with tricks to rival the best of them, but he only uses them when he is pinned in a corner and has no alternative.
 
Instead, whether it is a pass or a touch, Özil delivers each stroke of the football with exquisite accuracy. Against moany Alan Pardew’s men, he completed 98% of his passes, with over three quarters of those being in the final third. If we look at the opening goal, there is a beautiful moment of contrast between Alexis’ uncontrolled one-two with a Palace defender, and Özil’s pin-point cross which lands in the perfect area for Olivier Giroud to strike it first time. There is a place for both these approaches, but Özil’s is that bit more understated and garners less attention as a result.
 
It is the same when we are defending – Mesut’s style is to focus on the team position rather than his individual situation. It’s hard to think of an occasion when Özil would chase down the keeper as he attempts a clearance unless the team are in a position to back him off, again a stark contrast to the likes of Alexis and Giroud. It’s ultimately that most German of traits – his efficiency – which sees Özil focus on the benefits of each action and only do that closing down if it will have a chance of success.
 
If you watch him defending, it comes back to that mix of efficiency and selflessness – rarely will you see him making a tackle of any kind, let alone the brutal type idolised by the English media, but instead he will block passing lanes and effectively control the direction of play even when the opposition have the ball, by forcing them to pass in a particular direction. It’s no mean feat to direct the way your opponent plays.
 
This strategy often leads to Arsenal pushing teams back into awkward situations and allowing another of his teammates to make the tackle or interception that turns the ball over again. It’s not something you see in statistics, as he’s rarely the one to perform the action that does eventually win the ball back, but he is instrumental in causing it, the director general.
 
2mfai2u.jpg
 
Arsenal’s style
But it’s not just Mesut’s style which influences his perception – Arsenal’s team approach also has an effect. Have you ever watched a game live and then watched the highlights of the game on Match of the Day in sheer disbelief, unable to comprehend how they have managed to edit the footage to give such an “anti-Arsenal” impression?
 
Last season in particular, it was a common experience to saunter over to the Emirates, watch us dismantle a team, score a goal to win the game, and hold onto the three points after defending a couple of counter attacks. Then we’d head home, pop on Match of the Day expecting to enjoy a rerun of our excellent play, and find the delivered message to be that Arsenal had ‘squeaked‘ another 1-0 victory.
 
There’s a reason for that, and it’s the same reason Özil often doesn’t get the credit he deserves: Arsenal play all or nothing football. Our players, and Mesut is chief among them, don’t try to create half chances which lead to shots from wide angles or from a long way out. Instead, they try to create chances which, if they arrive, will be front and centre – almost certain goals.

 

This means that over the course of a game, there are often numerous exhilarating moves which end in a pass millimetres away from a player on the stretch at the far post, or a heavy touch away from a forward being one-on-one with the ‘keeper. These are not the kind of moves which make the highlights reel, unlike vicious shots from 35 yards or a simple and expected save from a near post shot on a tight angle, but they are the small margins by which games can be won or lost.
 
Think of Mesut’s sublime pick-out for Arsenal’s first goal yesterday. It gets the replays because Oli put the ball in the back of the net, but had it been a couple of centimetres behind our forward, it would have been just another move that was merrily struck from the game’s history. But that doesn’t change the quality of the idea.
 
14nmmmp.jpg
 
The English media
And of course the biggest reason of all is that the English media has a certain style that they idolise. Kicking, fouling and general skulduggery are often applauded as the necessary dark arts of the game, perhaps a reason Francis Coquelin has been attributed with turning this entire Arsenal team into serious challengers. Outward but ineffective shows of effort, such as the futile goalkeeper pressing, are deemed superior to the subtler and more focussed efforts born of intelligence.
 
It’s not hard to envisage a pundit criticising the teammates for not supporting the player pressing the goalkeeper, rather than taking a moment to wonder why the forward is closing the stopper down when there is a simple pass open to either side.
 
Ultimately, Özil is the archetypal Wenger player, favouring the effective over the showy, and of course it is not fashionable to rate Arsene or consequently his players.
 
He may never win league-wide accolades or even convince fans of opposition clubs to question the criticism drip-fed to them by the media, but as long as people continue to ignore Mesut and give him less than the hype he deserves, it only serves to make him more dangerous.

 

And when Özil is dangerous, so are Arsenal.

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gun__1439731055_Ozil_Crystal_Palace.jpg

 

Özil - How I can score more goals
Mesut Özil says becoming “a bit more selfish” will help him to score more this season.
 
The German has netted 12 times since arriving at Arsenal from Real Madrid on the final day of the 2013 summer transfer window.
 
Özil set up Olivier Giroud’s opener at Crystal Palace earlier in August and, while the playmaker “thinks for the team first”, he hopes to find the net more himself this term.

 

"For me it’s not just goals and assists that mean everything,
what’s more important is that we’re successful as a team."
 
“I want to score more goals than in the last two seasons and that’s my aim for this season,” he told Arsenal Player. “What’s important firstly is that we are successful as a team.
 
“That’s most crucial for us and as I said, for me it’s not just goals and assists that mean everything, what’s more important is that we’re successful as a team.
 
“My aim is to help the team and I’ll do all I can to achieve that. In truth I’m more the sort of player who doesn’t really go for goal, I tend to look for my team-mates and think, ‘Can I play this pass?’
 
“I think now and then I need to become a bit more selfish - then I’d definitely score more goals.
 
“But I’m a player who thinks for the team first and not for my own needs and that’s why I will carry on to play the way I always do. I think that’s one of my distinguishing characteristics.”

 

gun__1440000009_ozil.jpg

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MAIN-Mezut-Ozil.jpg

 

Mesut Özil has now broken the record for most assists in consecutive Premier League games (6).

 

Mesut Özil has now made 10 assists this season. Already more than in all of last season (9).

 

Mesut Özil needs just 11 more assists to break Henry's Premier league assist record (20) with 26 games still left.

 

Mesut Özil is the first player to assist 10+ goals in his first 11 appearances of a PL season.

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Agency: SKY Creative Services

Director: Wolf Ehrhardt

Senior Production Manager: Fabian Nagelmüller

Production Manager: Peter Päutz

Talent: Mesut Özil

Artist & animation: David Luepschen

DOP: Roman Lipah

DOP Assistant: Richard Koburg

2nd DOP: Simon Drescher

Sound Recordist: Fabian Runtenberg

Make up Artist: Natalie Rexygel

Editing & Audio: Patrick Kowalik

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Arsène Wenger: One Phone Call Convinced Me to Sign 'Magician' Mesut Özil

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Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger has revealed he missed out on the signing of Mesut Özil when he chose to sign for Real Madrid in 2010, but promised himself he'd sign the player if he became available again after one telephone conversation.

 

Speaking to ​Arsenal's website, Wenger revealed that he had put an offer on the table to the German but he chose Madrid instead. However, he retained interest after Özil called him to explain his decision to move to Spain to Wenger personally. The Arsenal boss also labelled Özil a "magician" for his sublime passing skills, which he recognised at a young age.

 


He said: ​“The first time I saw him he was at Werder (Bremen), he played as a left-winger and I could see straight away there was something special there.

 

“His intelligence is what caught my eye. Mesut is like a musician who always plays the right note at the right moment. When he needs to give the ball, he gives the ball. It is just a pleasure and it struck me at such a young age that he could give the ball and the timing of his passing was always right and he got out of impossible situations.

 


“It was not forced individually, you could always see that the team play was always in front of his ego. That struck me, because when players are usually talented that is not the first talent that you see. 

 

“I tried to sign him when he went to Real Madrid, we kept a relationship because he called me and said ‘look it was between you and Real and I’ve opted for Real Madrid.’ 

 

“I found that at the time that he was very well educated. He called me and said sorry and I’ve said ok and wished him luck. 

 

“When I heard about the opportunity to get him out of Real Madrid of course I was candid again and this time it works. It shows you seeds from the period before work later. That call remained with me and I thought if I get the opportunity next time I will not miss him!”

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On se vain niin uskomatonta nähdä Özilin kaltainen pelaaja ottelusta toiseen. Parantaa jatkuvasti.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIg_x4whl3M

 

 

Mesut Özil now a leader at Arsenal, Arsène Wenger says

 

arsenal-mesut-ozil-football_3393288.jpg?

 

Mesut Özil is heading Arsenal's title challenge after developing into a "leader" at the club, Arsène Wenger says.
 
Özil continued his assault on the Premier League assists record with his 16th of the season against Bournemouth, while his fifth goal capped Arsenal's return to the top.
 
And Wenger believes his record signing has reached a stage in his career where he is determined to make a difference every week.
 
"When he was injured for a long period he worked very hard physically," Wenger said. "He is a complete athlete.
 
"I also believe he has grown in stature and takes responsibilities, leadership in the team and on that front he has improved tremendously and looks determined to lead the team compared to when he arrived.
 
"I think he plays in a position that suits him well. He plays in a style of football that suits him well.
 
"This season he was not stopped by injuries and I believe that he arrives at an age - 27 - that you think, 'it's time for me to really be efficient in every single game, and I want to enjoy every single game'."

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ÖZIL NAMED GERMANY 'NATIONAL TEAM PLAYER OF THE YEAR 2015'

 
He wasn’t ever going to have an empty-handed 2014. On the night of the 13th July, Mesut Özil lifted the World Cup trophy in Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana. He was, however, forced to give up his Player of the Year title, as Toni Kroos picked up the most votes in 2014. Now though, Özil is back.
 
In the Fan Club vote for the Germany National Team Player of the Year 2015 powered by Coca-Cola, Özil received a total of 45.9 % of the votes, and has been named Player of the Year for the fourth time in his career. More than 51,000 fans voted for the Arsenal midfielder, who finished above Bayern Munich’s Thomas Müller (15.9 %) in second place. Jonas Hector of FC Köln, the only player to appear in all nine of Germany’s matches over the year, received 13.6 % of the vote and third place. In total, 13 players were nominated.
 
93 Kilometres, 612 Passes: Özil's stats with Germany in 2015
 
Mesut Özil is a fan favourite. Over in London, he’s just been named Arsenal Player of the Month for the third time in a row. This is no surprise, give his scintillating form so far this season. DFB.de have the numbers behind his equally impressive performances for Germany this year.
 
Minutes on the pitch: Mesut Özil was involved in eight out of nine international matches in 2015. On average, he played 94.38 minutes per game (the matches against Georgia and Ireland lasted 97 minutes). The Arsenal star was on the pitch for 755 minutes, missing out only in the friendly against France.
 
Distance covered: In the eight games he played for Germany, Özil ran a total of 92.71 kilometres – an impressive average of 11.59 km per game. He covered the most ground in the opening match of 2015 against Australia (a 2-2 draw in Kaiserslautern), running 12.46 km and winning 75% of his tackles - also his best rate of 2015. In June against Gibraltar, Özil completed 19 sprints, covering 417.2 metres.
 
Shots on goal: Mesut Özil recorded 14 shots on goal over the course of 2015. Despite that, he prefers to assist goals rather than score them. The midfield maestro set up six goals in 2015, three of which came in the 7-0 win over Gibraltar. In the important 2-1 victory over Georgia in October, he assisted both of Germany’s goals. The unselfish Özil ensured multiple successes for Germany in 2015.
 
Passing: In Germany’s win over Georgia in Leipzig, Özil made 101 passes, 86 of which were successful – a passing accuracy of 85%. Özil was most effective in the game against USA, where 94% of his passes found their intended target. Overall, he made 612 passes in the year - an average of 76.5 per 90 minutes.
 
Previous Germany Players of the Year:
 
2010: Bastian Schweinsteiger
2011: Mesut Özil
2012: Mesut Özil
2013: Mesut Özil
2014: Toni Kroos
2015: Mesut Özil
 
Na_ytto_kuva_2016_01_14_kello_22_53_09.p
 
Na_ytto_kuva_2016_01_14_kello_22_53_44.p
 
Na_ytto_kuva_2016_01_14_kello_22_50_55.p

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Mesut valmistautuu arvokisoihin ja kertoo menneestä kaudesta:

 

Mesut Özil: “I understood that talent alone was not sufficient.”

 

Ozil-806x453.jpg

 

In an extensive, exclusive interview with France Football, Arsenal’s attacking midfielder Mesut Özil discussed the 2015/16 campaign, his hopes for EURO 2016 and much more.
 
After a rather laborious journey to qualify for EURO 2016, notably with two defeats, should people be worried for Germany ahead of these championships?
- It is true that we were unable to exploit our potential. I am not looking for excuses, but we have to highlight the long absences because of injuries for several of our key players like Bastian Schweinsteiger, Sami Khedira, Mario Götze or even myself for the months that followed the World Cup. For some of us, it was difficult to get back at it after that triumph. We were exhausted and we had to immediately come back at it again. As a result, some of us picked up physical problems and fell into a black hole. We needed some time to be motivated again. We cannot always crush everything in our way.
 
Are you worried?
- On the contrary, I am optimistic. In a very relaxed manner, we still managed to qualify at the top of our group in the qualifiers. And then, slowly, we will recover our strength as the Euros come upon us. The closer our first match comes, the more confident I am.
 
Why?
- Before each Euro and World Cup since Joachim Löw became the manager, we have prepared ourselves excellently which has allowed us each time to reach at least the semi-finals. We are going to get all our players back and we are going to be sufficiently competitive to fight for the title.
 
In which areas does the German national team have to improve?
- In the final qualifying games, we dominated our opponents and we created an incredible amount of chances. The problem was that we lacked efficacy in front of goal. It is our finishing that we will have to persist with during training.
 
Following the World Cup, the retirements of Miroslav Klose, Philipp Lahm and Per Mertesacker, who had 350 caps between them, did that not have a destabilising effect?
- We needed some time for a new hierarchy to form. We lost three key pillars of our national team in one swoop. It was like a slap across the face. The replacements needed to find their footing.
 
Is Germany as strong as it was at the 2014 World Cup?
- Absolutely. We have extraordinary potential with world class individuals. Every one of us breathes confidence and serenity. I am convinced that we will play a major role in France and that we will go very far.
 
Is the team not a little worn after the 2014 World Cup?
- Not at all. Every single one of us wants to continue to add to our trophy cabinets. Now that we have the title as World champions, we want that of European champions stamped on our visitors cards. At the Euros, only the final victory will make us happy.
 
You have worked with Joachim Löw for seven years in the national team. How would you sum up your relationship with him?
- It is based on reciprocated confidence. Joachim Löw plays a crucial role in my career. He is the one who gave me my Germany debut in 2009, and he has always had confidence in me even when I was performing less well with my club. He has supported me through winds and tides. I am very aware of that, and I endeavour to give him what he wants on the pitch.
 
Has he changed in recent years?
- I think in the eyes of the players, he has improved, he has amassed a lot of experience.  That is a unanimous view. The World Cup was a just recompense for his long, drawn out work. He has a real philosophy that he implements no matter what the cost is. The idea is to quickly bring danger to the opposition in their half and to play attractive football. He has also placed his confidence in a lot of upcoming players.
 
Listening to you, he sounds like he is close to perfection…
- He is the ideal manager for Germany. Thanks to him, the way that people view us across the globe has changed. In the past, people were scared of Germany because of their physicality, their rough side, now we are appreciated for our spectacular style of play.
 
Which sides are the most dangerous at EURO 2016?
- With 24 teams, I can certainly see a team come out of nowhere, creating an enormous surprise and going very far. As time passes, the difference between the level of the teams decreases. France are one of the principal contenders, like Spain, England and Italy.
 
The English rarely manage to distinguish themselves in the final stages…
- Having played in England nearly for three years, I can see a team that is in the process of putting itself together. In the qualifiers, they put together a flawless campaign, which was not by accident. Young talents like Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane or Dele Alli have shone. We will have to watch out for England.
 
What inspires you concerning your comment about France?
- I feel like they are becoming more powerful. They also have some extraordinary individual talents. I am a big fan of Karim Benzema. He is a marvellous player, so gifted technically. Olivier Giroud is a formidable attacker, Laurent Koscielny is a rock. I am happy to have them with me at the club. Altogether, France has a complete team, well armed in all sectors.
 
What did you take away from that World Cup Quarter Final at the Maracana?
- Looking back, France were the opponent that gave us the hardest time. Thankfully, Manuel Neuer came up with a great performance. At the final whistle, we were relieved.
 
In Brazil, despite your triumph, you were one of the rare German internationals to consistently suffer criticism during the tournament. Was that difficult?
- Not at all. I have nothing to prove to anyone. At the World Cup, I put myself at the service of the team. I played in a position that was not my own. As a playmaker I am more at ease in the centre behind the attackers.
 
Did you speak to the manager about that?
- It is not in my character to do that. It was the World Cup, not the Mesut Özil Cup. I accepted the decision and did not regret it for one second.
 
With 72 selections and the new hierarchy now settled, do you have extra weight in the dressing room?
- We have enough players who take responsibility. I prefer to leave that to the others. It is not in my nature to smack the table with my fist. I am someone who is generally calm and that will never change. Sami Khedira, Manuel Neuer or Thomas Müller know perfectly well how to re-engage the squad if necessary. I prefer to express myself on the pitch.
 
After the World Cup, you were out for 4 months with a bad knee injury. Looking back, it appears as if this difficult moment made you stronger…
- Never have I ever been on the injury table that long before. I realised just how much I love this sport. But I also learnt to be patient and to not rush back in order to avoid a setback.
 
Have you modified any other aspects in terms of your approach to your job?
- Yes, certain details, like the hygiene of life for example. Before I drank fizzy drinks and I was not drinking enough water. Now, I drink enormous amounts of water and green tea. In terms of nutrition, I have stopped eating bread. As a result, I feel much better in terms of my body and muscle injuries are much rarer. I will continue to be disciplined and rigorous. There is no secret.
 
Was it a wake up call then?
- I understood that talent alone was not enough for me to achieve my aims. Today, I am often the first at training and the last to leave. Several years ago, that would have been unimaginable!
 
Looking back, how do you explain the grave difficulties you had during your first season at Arsenal?
- In August 2013, I left Real Madrid where the style of play was very different. I needed several months to find my feet. I also had to get used to a new environment. I think that these problems were justified. In the second season, I started with a bang before getting injured. The key to my success this season was the pre-season preparation. For the first time since my arrival, I was able to train normally. And I reaped the fruits of my labour with my most complete season, without physical problems and with a certain consistency.
 
When things weren’t going your way, did you ever regret choosing Arsenal?
- No. I never doubted my ability to succeed in the Premier League. The critics and the difficult moments pushed me to work harder. I think that I have shown the world. I have learnt to accept that sometimes you have low points. When I play less well, I remain calm, whilst working two times harder in training. Through perseverance, I became better.
 
In the Premier League, have you modified aspects of your game?
- I have modified certain important details, For example, I changed my body language. Before, after each missed opportunity or imprecise pass, I let my shoulders drop and I would moan. Now, I keep my head up and I try to make up for my error as soon as possible. The game goes so quickly that there is not time to lament. One error must not withdraw me from the match. I am aware of that.
 
Have you also worked on your physicality?
- It was essential to be stronger in the duels. After training, I go to the gym. I also go into the freezing baths in order to have a better blood circulation.
 
You have now found your feet in the English league then?
- On the pitch, I am always enjoying myself. I am lucky to play in the best league in the world and to be a certain starter at one of the best English clubs. In the Premier League, my enjoyment is very high. As long as I am in perfect physical condition.
 
This season, you finished at the top of the assists chart, equalling Thierry Henry’s record. Do you prefer to score or set up goals?
- It is true that I provide more assists than I score goals. That is my job. Where people opt to shoot, I opt for the pass, that is what makes me happiest. I am not egotistical.
 
Each season, there seems to be the same thing happening: Arsenal play well, but they never win the league nor do the make the Quarter Finals of the Champions League. What is your explanation for this?
- In the Champions League apart from the previous season against Monaco, we have been each time up against either Barcelona or Bayern Munich in the first knockout round. In the league, we can only be angry at ourselves. We have lost a load of points this season due to a lack of concentration. We were not at 100% and we did not develop our play as we wanted to.
 
What was the key to Leicester’s success?
- By playing with a lot of heart and desire, you can move mountains. It is a team that never gives up and gives everything without thinking about it. They bathe in euphoria. That is the proof that in the Premier League you have to give 120% in each match to hope to win. It is for this reason that this league is in my eyes the best in the world.
 
Is your relationship with Arsène Wenger comparable to your relationship with Joachim Löw?
- Both men are part of a list of rare managers who have remained in their positions for several years. At Arsenal, Arsène Wenger has shown that he is one of the best managers in history. He has revolutionised the club and created magnificent success. I am proud and aware of the luxury I have of working for such a coach. His simple discourse immediately seduced me when I was asking questions about my future in the summer of 2013. He chose the perfect words to convince me. The great strength that Wenger has is he knows how to talk to his players.
 
Now that Zidane has become the manager of Real, do you regret no longer being at the club when you consider the fact that he was your idol growing up?
- Zinedine Zidane is doing very good work at Real. I know him well and was able to speak to him on a daily basis when he was the Sporting Director. The way that he talked to us, you could tell that he was waiting for just one thing: to become a manager. I wish him good luck.

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Özil: This is why I have settled at Arsenal

Mesut Özil discusses what it was like growing up in Germany and how being exposed to different cultures has helped him feel at home in north London.

 

Video poistettiin ilmeisesti pelaajaa loukkaavien kommenttien takia, sillä videon kansikuva oli lähikuva Mesutin naamasta ja siitähän jotkut vitsiniekat innostuivatkin.

 

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