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Name Mesut Ozil
Spelling Mesut Özil
Gender Male
Ethnic German
  Turkish German
Job Arsenal FC Footballer
  German Footballer
Desc Mesut Ozil is king of assist. No other player has recorded more assists or created more chances in the Premier League since his debut in September 2013
  Ozil set a new Premier League record in November 2015 by becoming the first player to create a goal in six consecutive matches
  He scored nine goals and made 20 assists in the 2015-16 season and was named Arsenal’s player of the season

Affiliation

Org German National Team
Club as Player Arsenal FC
  Real Madrid
  Werder Bremen
  Schalke 04
  RW Essen
  Westfalia

Relationship

Wife Amine Gulse
Father Mustafa Ozil
Friend Per Mertesacker
Girlfriend Mandy Capristo
  Melanie Rickinger
Youth Coach Ralf Maraun

Publication

Book Die Magie des Spiels [The Magic of the Game]

2010 06 11 Retrieve

[q: How excited are you about the World Cup kicking off?] It’s exciting just to be talking about the World Cup. It’s the biggest stage a footballer can reach. And for the fans as well

[q: What are you most looking forward to?] Not many players get to play in a World Cup – it’s a special honour to participate. And I’m looking forward to getting to know South Africa better and meeting the best teams in the world with the best players

[q: Germany is regarded as a tournament team…] And we want to prove it again. We have a lot of respect for our group opponents, but the goal is to get through as the top team in our group. After that, the dream is to win the World Cup

[q: Who are the favourites?] Spain, of course, and Brazil, Argentina and Germany. But there are many teams that are strong and can get far

[q: You won the under-21 title with Germany. Do those experiences help now you’re on an even bigger stage?] In the under-21 tournament we faced a lot of players from the Premier League or Spain, some of whom we’ll meet again now – and some of the Spanish guys have won Euro 2008 already, so it’s going to be very exiting to see how they do this time. As far as the experience of the under 21 games are concerned, I think it does help, though it’s certainly a different level

[q: There are quite a few young players in the German team. How is the feeling going away for such a long time together?] Your first international tournament is one of the things you never forget in your life. It is a new chapter and something you can keep as a secret wish, but it is not guaranteed. Everyone has special feelings about internationals. For me, I will never forget my first game for Germany. And I feel lucky because 10 years ago, younger players did not have the same options as they have today. The attitude regarding youngsters seems to have changed in general. Young players get more responsibility

[q: Why do you think that is?] Young players have proved they can handle the pressure and that they are mature enough to play. Some clubs had to look to their youngsters due to money problems and the education has been improved a lot. I think it’s great to have guys like Jerome Boateng, Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller, Marko Marin and Sami Khedira.

[q: You have Turkish roots, but you were born in Gelsenkirchen. Were you tempted to play for Turkey?] 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

[q: You left Schalke when you were very young. Did that help you grow up?] It was really hard for me to leave my hometownToday people compare you with Juve’s Diego and even Maradona. Did you expect that things would go that fast?]</b> Well, I knew what I could do on the pitch from the junior games. What I was missing was the goals. That works much better today. That people speak about me and the big names is an honour, but I think I have a fair bit to go. One day I want to be among the best but today I am just 21.

[q: Which players did you want to be when you were growing up?] My Idol was Zinedine Zidane. He was the most perfect player. His technique, shooting and headers, his ability to read games and boss them was fantastic

2010 10 01 Interview

[q: Have you always been a creator?] Yes, I’ve been a playmaker since my youth. I love to play the deciding pass and enjoy setting up goals – and scoring them myself. When I was a kid, my big idol was Zidane. I don’t have role models now, but Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi are consistently playing on a high level. They haven’t become World Footballers of the Year for nothing

[q: Players of your kind, like Sneijder and Iniesta, are enjoying a resurgence] Football is more physical than it used to be, but creativity hasn’t been lost. Football is a very physical and fast game, but smaller players can assert themselves. Look at Messi

[q: Is it tough being considered the ‘main man’ in a team at just 21?] I managed to cope very well. I enjoyed the trust of the managerial staff and the team. I don’t feel any pressure on the pitch. I simply love and enjoy playing football. The World Cup was an incredible experience – it’s the greatest thing for a footballer. The time in South Africa was unforgettable. We have a very young team with a great future and will be given another chance

[q: Any tips for budding young playmakers?] Talent alone is not enough. I can give the kids out there the following piece of advice: you have to work hard every single day and try to improve daily. I have to improve in every aspect. My biggest aim for the new season is to score more goals

[q: What are your goals for the future?] For every player it is something special to compete for the Champions League or win the World Cup. My personal goal is to become one of the best players in the world

2010 11 13 Retrieve

[Turkish-born Real Madrid footballer Oezil was hailed as a prime example of successful integration into German society and won the prize in the Integration category of Bambi Awards] This is a great honour for me and I’m very happy. Integration creates something new and makes for a more colourful Germany

2011 04 03 Retrieve

[Mesut Ozil compares himself with Zidane] I’m not Zidane yet. Zidane was world-class. I haven’t done anything yet. I’m here to develop, I still have so much to prove

[Mesut Ozil on his technique] My technique and feel for the ball is the Turkish side of my game; the discipline and attitude all come from Germany.

[And when it came to the contested decision over international football, Ozil responded] I was made as a footballer here

2011 08 27 Retrieve

[Mesut Ozil talks about Fasting] 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

2013 04 09 Retrieve

[Mesut Ozil talks about Germany] I was born and raised in this country. I was successful with their Under-21s and I feel good here. I chose Germany for that reason. There’s no reason why I wouldn’t be successful with them

[Mesut Ozil talks about Turkey] My family and I will always be Turkish but I was born and I live in Germany. I feel more comfortable in a Germany shirt

[When the two countries were pitted against one another in qualifying for Euro 2012, he openly admitted that it was something of a nightmare scenario for him] I didn’t want a match in Euro 2012 qualification with Turkey. My will is for both teams to feature in the finals

[Children idolise him due to his heritage and people are proud to have one of their own as a regular at a club the size of Madrid. He said in 2011] I think that the Turks are proud of me. I have experienced the respect that they have shown for me, and many people accept and respect my decision to play for Germany

2013 09 02 Retrieve

[Arsenal smash club record to sign Mesut Ozil. On completing his medical] I am thrilled to be joining a club of the stature of Arsenal and am looking forward to playing in the Premier League. It will be great for my own personal development as a player and I am particularly looking forward to working with Arsene Wenger. From our negotiations it is clear the club has huge ambition and I look forward to being part of an exciting future

2013 09 03 Retrieve

[Mesut Ozil said today he believes he can take his game to a whole new level at Arsenal to repay the faith of Arsene Wenger] At the weekend, I was certain I would stay at Real Madrid but afterwards I realised I did not have the faith from the coach or the bosses. I am a player who needs this faith and that is what I have felt from Arsenal, which is why I have joined

I am really looking forward to it because I have the faith of the coach. I had spoken to him at length on the telephone, he explained his plans and that he has faith in me - that is what I need as a player.

Wenger gives me the faith and I can develop further. I know what I can do and I know I could make the grade with any club because I’m so convinced in myself, but if I don’t feel people have faith in me, then that is why I had to leave and at ­Arsenal, I feel I have this fully

2013 09 04 Retrieve

[Mesut Ozil talks about his situation in Real Madrid before transfering to Arsenal FC] At the weekend, I was certain that I would stay at Real Madrid. But afterwards I realised that I did not have the faith from the Carlo Ancelotti or the bosses. I am a player who needs this faith and that is what I have felt from Arsenal

2013 12 14 Retrieve

[Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has issued an apology to the Arsenal fans after he decided not to join the team in applauding the travelling support following their 6-3 loss to Manchester City] Sorry I didn’t thank the fans at the end of the game! You have been brilliant to me and I know you had travelled a long way and spent your money to support us. I was upset with the result and know I should have come to you to say ‘thank you’ and I know it is a big Arsenal tradition win, lose or draw.

2014 03 09
Mesut Özil celebrates with fellow goalscorer on the day Olivier Giroud as Everton goalkeeper Joel Robles looks on. Arsenal will now play Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup semi-finals on Apr 13

2014 07 14 Retrieve

[Özil took to social media to share his euphoria during Germany’s World Cup celebrations] don’t ever let somebody tell you, you can’t do something. believe in your dreams – here, today and all over the world

2014 07 17 Retrieve

[Mesut Ozil uses his World Cup winnings to pay for 23 sick children to have surgery] Prior to the World Cup, I supported the surgery of 11 sick children. Since the victory in the World Cup is not only due to 11 players but to our whole team, I will now raise the number to 23. This is my personal thank you for the hospitality of the people of Brazil

2015 11 13 Retrieve

[Mesut Ozil on his fine start to the campaign] After training there are a few shooting drills that can help with self-belief. In general, when you look at my chances in front of goal, I’ve taken them well

Every player wants to score goals. I’m intending to score more this season than in previous years. It’s most important for us to perform well and to be successful - I’m looking forward to giving assists or scoring goals. My aim is to score more goals this season than in the last two. I think I’m on a good path and will achieve that

2016 02 13 Retrieve

[on Jose Mourinho] I know how special he is as a manager. He is a manager who always supports his team and always protects his team. He’s getting the best out of any player

2016 10 01 Retrieve

[Mesut Ozil says team-mate Alex Iwobi plays like a mixture of Jay-Jay Okocha and Edgar Davids] He reminds me of his uncle, Jay-Jay Okocha. He was a player I loved watching. Alex reminds me of a mixture of him and Edgar Davids. He’s really strong on the ball, also defensively, but he’s good in front of goal too. He’s developing really well and if he continues the way he’s been playing for the whole season, he will enhance his game. The manager knows exactly how good he is and I wish him all the best

2016 10 15 Retrieve

[Mesut Ozil explains the three-finger hand gesture after scoring] That’s for my niece. She’s called Mira and when I score now, the goals are for her. She’s too young to notice but she has come to London a few times and has watched some games in which I’ve scored and then made that hand gesture. I just enjoy spending time with her because she’s so cute. She’s at the age where she’s a lot of fun to be around. We’re just delighted as a family to have her. She actually has an Arsenal shirt and a Germany one too and both have her name on the back

2016 11 12 Retrieve

[Mesut Ozil speaks about his former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo] I really enjoyed playing with him because he made me better on the pitch. He’s a good guy and a good friend of mine. Of course I gave my assists, a lot to him, and he knows, but I really enjoyed playing with him because it was easy. He doesn’t need a lot of chances, even if I give him two assists, he scored two. He’s a very amazing player, one of the greatest footballers in history. I never saw a guy like him, he works really hard. He’s the first guy to get in in the dressing room and the last guy maybe to go to his house. He’s very professional, always he wants to fight, even in the training games. If you see a player like this over there, of course you are looking what he does

2017 03 02 Retrieve

[Mesut Ozil reveals that Jose Mourinho accuse Him coward] ‘You think two beautiful passes are enough. You think you’re so good that fifty percent is enough’. He pauses. Stares at me with his dark brown eyes. I stare back. Like two boxers at the stare-down before the first round. He shows no emotion. Just waits for a response from me. How much I hate him right now. And I love Mourinho actually

[Özil claims to have then thrown his shirt at Mourinho, who responded] Oh, are you giving up now? You’re such a coward. What do you want? To creep under the beautiful, warm shower? Shampoo your hair? To be alone? Or do you want to prove to your fellow players, the fans out there, and me, what you can do

2017 04 01 Retrieve

[Mesut Ozil tells about his admiration for the support he receives from the club’s fans] You know what made me proud? That day, the Arsenal fans sang the Ozil song. I’ve never experienced anything like it at any other club. It gives me goose bumps every time the fans sing that song

2017 09 13 Retrieve

[Mesut Ozil comments on criticisms of his lazy body language] Some people like me, some people don’t. Some people look at my body language and think I don’t care. But that’s me. I won’t change my body language or my style of play drastically anymore

2017 09 30 Retrieve

[Mesut Ozil tells about his football role model] I admire many footballers, especially creative midfielders as that’s my style of play as well. My real idol has always been Zinedine Zidane. I always watched his games and wanted to play like he did

2018 06 28
Mesut Ozil arrives at Frankfurt international airport after flying back from Moscow following the German national football team’s defeat in the Russia 2018 football World Cup

2018 07 22 Retrieve

[Özil speaks, defends meeting with Turkish president and calls out DFB for double-standards] My job is a football player and not a politician, and our meeting was not an endorsement of any policies. In fact, we spoke about the same topic we do every time we have met - football - as he too was a player in his youth

[Özil also said that Erdoğan as an individual was not the motive, but] respecting the highest office of my family’s country

A lot of people talk about my performances- many applaud and many criticise. If a newspaper or pundit finds fault in a game I play in, then I accept this- I’m not a perfect footballer and this often motivates me to work and train harder. But what I can’t accept are Germany media outlets reportedly blaming my dual-heritage and a simple picture for a bad World Cup on behalf of an entire squad

[Off the pitch, Özil blames the German media for their poor choice of reporting, saying that his partnership with companies like BigShoe go unnoticed] They rise above the nonsense created by the German press and media, we carry out our projects in a professional manner thar I really enjoy being a part of. During the World Cup, I worked with BigShoe and helped get 23 young children life-changing surgeries in Russia, which I have also done in Brazil and Africa

[Matthäus, a former Germany captain and two-time Bayern Munich midfielder, met with Russian leader Vladimir Putin recently, but German media did not cover the encounter to the extent they did with Özil. This displeased Mesut] What I also find disappointing are the double standards that the media has. Lothar Matthäus (an honorary German national team captain met with another world leader a few days back, and received almost no media criticism. Despite his role with the DFB, they have not asked him to publicly explain his actions and he continues to represent the players of Germany without any reprimand

2018 07 23 Retrieve

[Mesut Ozil blames unfair discrimination over his meeting with the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] For me, having a picture with President Erdoğan wasn’t about politics or elections, it was about me respecting the highest office of my family’s country

My job is a football player and not a politician, and our meeting was not an endorsement of any policies. The treatment I have received from the DFB and many others makes me no longer want to wear the German national team shirt. I feel unwanted and think what I have achieved since my international debut in 2009 has been forgotten

[Making direct reference to Reinhard Grindel, president of the DFB, Özil added] People with racially discriminative backgrounds should not be allowed to work in the largest football federation in the world that has players from dual‑heritage families. Attitudes like theirs simply do not reflect the players they supposedly represent. In the eyes of Grindel and his supporters, I am German when we win but I am an immigrant when we lose

It is with a heavy heart and after much consideration that because of recent events I will no longer be playing for Germany at international level whilst I have this feeling of racism and disrespect. I used to wear the German shirt with such pride and excitement, but now I don’t. I feel unwanted and think that what I have achieved since my international debut in 2009 has been forgotten

I will no longer stand for being a scapegoat for his incompetence and inability to do his job properly. I am disappointed but not surprised by [Grindel’s] actions. But when high-ranking DFB officials disrespect my Turkish roots and selfishly turn me into political propaganda, then enough is enough

[Özil claims he was racially abused by a supporter after the match against Sweden] A German fan told me after the game, ‘Özil, fuck off you Turkish shit, piss off you Turkish pig’. I don’t want to even discuss the hate mail, threatening phone calls and comments on social media that my family and I have received. They all represent a Germany of the past, a Germany that I am not proud of. I am confident that many proud Germans who embrace an open society would agree with me

2018 07 24 Retrieve

[Mesut Ozil proudly shows off his No. 10 shorts to Arsenal team-mate Alexandre Lacazette] It has never been a secret how special this number is to me,’ Ozil said earlier this month. My childhood idol Zinedine Zidane wore this number and it is still the most characteristic one for the playmaker position. sI’m looking forward to putting it on for the first time at Arsenal after the summer break

2018 07 26 Retrieve

[German FA boss Grindel admits mistakes over Ozil-Erdogan photo scandal. he should have made it unequivocally clear that] In the eyes of Grindel and his supporters, I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose

2018 07 27 Tweet

[Ozil came in for criticism over a controversial photograph with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan] Like many people, my ancestry traces back to more than one country. Whilst I grew up in Germany, my family background has its roots firmly based in Turkey. I have two hearts, one German and one Turkish.

2018 09 22 Retrieve

[Mesut Ozil speaks about what it was like to play with Cristiano Ronaldo] I really enjoyed playing with him because he made me better on the pitch and he’s a great guy off it, too. I gave him loads of assists and he doesn’t need me to remind him of that! It was easy to play with him because you didn’t need to create a lot of chances. Even if I just gave him two passes, he would score two goals and that’s why he’s one of the greatest footballers who’s ever lived

2019 06 08
Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan was in the wedding party as Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil tied the knot on Friday. Erdogan and his wife, Emine, were legal witnesses for Ozil, who married model, actress and former Miss Turkey Amine Gulse in Istanbul. Secular Turkish weddings require a witness each for the bride and groom

2019 07 26 Tweet

[Mesut Ozil lets fans know he and Arsenal team-mate Sead Kolasinac are all ok after footage of their car being attacked was circulated online] @seadk6, my wife Amine and me are doing well again after yesterday’s incident in London. Thanks for all your supporting messages guys