Mesut Ozil is now officially a retired Footballer who changed the way we play football. This central attacking midfielder was a genius on and off the ball, and even though he was tall and clunky, his technical ability and passing was one of the best in the world. Mesut Ozil recently retired after 17 years at an early age of 34. Ozil wasn't able to play at the highest level of Football anymore and dropped to the Turkish league, but due to Ozil missing training and not being able to keep up with the rest of his teammates he was forced to drop out of Fenerbahce and join Basaksehir, his final club. Many believe that Ozil was bored of playing football and lost the spirit for the game, but we are going to track back to the era where Ozil influenced the world of football and changed it.
The beginning of Mesut Ozil’s Career
Ozil started his career in Schalke 04, and since he was only a kid he didn’t play much even though he was a prodigy. Ozil still managed to play 37 games in that season for the team of Schalke, but didn’t have many contributions towards the team's goals. Despite showing a lot of skill when he played there, one of his most impressive games was against Chelsea in the Champions League, when he was only 18, where he would dribble and find interesting passing ideas during the game, but his accuracy was something odd on his game, some of his passes looked promising and his decision making was very good, but he lacked in accuracy especially in his shots and passes.
The new adaptation came when he transferred through to Werder Bremen, where he was able to achieve his potential. There he became a key player at the age of only 19. In Werder Bremen Ozil won the German Cup (Pokal Cup) in the season 08/09 where he contributed with 2 goals and one assist in 5 games. In the German first division he also contributed majorly, in the Bundesliga where he gave an impressive 12 assists in 34 games of the Bundesliga. Meanwhile, in the European championship Ozil guided his team to the Europa League final. Ozil gave 6 assists in the Europa League, but unfortunately the Werder Bremen team lost to Shakhtar Donetsk. His football started to impress many people, his dribbles were simple, but effective. The fake shot was one of his main moves: the way he would fake a pass would create spaces throughout the field and create many chances for his team. Assists were always something about his game that would impress everyone, the weight and accuracy of his pass adapted to a level where defenders could not predict, something only few players could do at the time.
The Discovery of Mesut Ozil’s Brilliant Football
During the 2010 World Cup, Mesut Ozil represented Germany and put on an outstanding show. He was a crucial player of Germany's attacking force by making brilliant passes that provided countless opportunities for his teammates to score. Ozil participated in every game of the competition, and Ozil's participation helped the team get to the semifinals. He contributed three assists in total and one goal during the competition. He was named Man of the Match in Germany's 4-0 group-stage victory over Australia for his efforts. During that World Cup Ozil created an amazing reputation and was even appointed as one of the best players in the world after his beautiful performances . Many clubs were interested in him, but only one team caught his attention, Real Madrid.
In the 2010-11 season after a fenomenal season from Ozil, he signed with Real Madrid after a 18 million euros transfer from Werder Bremen. Real Madrid had already spent a lot of money in the past season by buying the former Ballon d’Or, Cristiano Ronaldo for 100 million euros, Real Madrid was trying to build a squad capable of winning anything, Real Madrid started to become a fearless team, with the likes of Kaka, Xabi Alonso, Cristiano Ronaldo, Di Maria etc. Even though this team was insane, many thought Ozil was a waste of money because of the great players they already had in the midfield like Kaka, Diarra, Alonso, Khedira. In the start of the season, José Mourinho believed in Ozil and used him as an attacking midfielder to be the man to create goal chances. After a positive impact on the club Ozil was now one of the key players of Real Madrid. Ozil wasn’t much of a goalscorer, as in his first season in Real Madrid he scored 7 goals in 47 games, but what made Ozil a genius was his assists.Ozil had made in the 2010/11 season 24 assists in 47 games, something out of ordinary. Many saw him and Cristiano Ronaldo as the perfect duo, one was the magician and another one was a machine, but after another two solid seasons Ozil left because of his issues with José Mourinho.
Mesut Ozil was already a star player being able to create spaces that no one saw and giving assists in moments that many players would lose the ball or pass the ball back to a defender, but in 2014 Ozil had signed with Arsenal after playing magnificent football at Real Madrid. There the pressure was huge since he was signed for 42.5 million euros a price that exceeded the norms of the club Arsenal, the club had to try something in order to get back to form. Arsenal after winning the Premier League unbeaten in 2003-04 had derailed since then, losing the Champions League final in 2006 to Barcelona. Even though this pressure was on his shoulder he still managed to play his liquid football, but even though his 2013-14 season wasn’t one of the best with 7 goals and 13 assists in 40 games, his style of game surprised the fans, in the end of the season Ozil managed to win the first title of Arsenal in the 2010s decade, as Arsenal won the 2014 FA Cup that year.
When the season ended Ozil went to dispute the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. In The World Cup Ozil played almost all the games and came out victorious and became Champion of the World for the first time. Ozil’s creativity was a key factor in the win of Germany in the 2014 World Cup. His quick passing and effective movement helped Germany be a more aggressive team, being demonstrated in the 4-0 win against Portugal and the 7-1 against the hosts Brazil in the semifinal. Ozil’s quick thinking influenced the attack to base themselves on his passes and even enhanced the German team’s passing as the competition would move on. Even though Ozil didn’t have a great match in the final against Argentina he still managed to help the team and win the title.
When he went back to Arsenal he continued with his title streak and won the Community Shield (English Super Cup). Mesut Ozil changed Arsenal as a whole, and the team finally looked motivated. His passing and vision of the game gave hope to the Arsenal team and influenced them to the “Ozil style”, causing some brilliant team plays to happen. At the end of the season Arsenal managed to win back to back FA Cup titles, and even though Ozil’s stats weren't impressive his way of playing was enough to make the fans go crazy.
The Classical Number 10
In the 2015-16 season Ozil reached another crazy number of assists in that season, 20 assists in 45 games. His stats weren’t the impressive thing about him, his performance especially this year was out of this world. His passing was unstoppable, his crosses and vision were something no one has ever seen before. Ozil’s contribution to the Arsenal squad helped them in keeping up with Leicester City’s amazing 2016 run in the premier league, but in the end Leicester ended up being champions and Arsenal were the runners-up.
In the 2016-17 season Ozil became a player that is unique in every aspect, in this season he created the bounce shot, one of the most peculiar yet amazing shots ever seen in Football history. The bounce shot is one of the most unpredictable shots ever created: the beauty of the shot is that it is a junction of a chip and a regular shot. This technique was first seen in this season in the Premier League against Bournemouth where he shot the ball towards the ground and it knocked back up into the top corner. This shot was indescribable, Ozil had shocked the world. A technique that only Ozil could do. Throughout the 2016-17 season Ozil was unstoppable, he was able to create plays that no defender could stop. In a game for the champions league Ozil scored a goal that portrayed his football, he received a ball in a 1v1 situation against the keeper, he proceeded to elevate the ball over the keeper, control the ball and as he saw that the defenders were going to block his shot he dribbled them both with a fake shot and finished the goal, this goal was so superb that it almost won the 2016 Puskas Award. With this goal Ozil would amaze the Arsenal fans and was showing to many people the beauty of football, in this season Ozil also won the FA Cup, Ozil’s third FA Cup for Arsenal.
Ozil and the Beauty of Football
Ozil in the end was able to create a style of Football that wasn’t necessarily a style that would score many goals or show that he was one of the best of all time. It was a style that the audience loved to see, his passing and vision was something that can’t be recreated, the experience people had when watching Ozil play was of pure enjoyment which is something that has been forgotten, his creativity gave Football fans a more warmthful and satisfying experience, Ozil was a player that everyone admired and his retirement was something that was inevitable after his downfall, but we will never forget his brilliancy.