Arsenal and Germany playmaker Mesut Özil is convinced he has the ability to be crowned the world’s best player by winning the Ballon d’Or in the next few years.
Speaking to Sport Bild during the current international period, the German star stated his belief that he can win the trophy which has been contested and claimed by only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi since 2008.
If I continue to develop well and stay healthy, I would like, in the next few years, to hold the Ballon D’Or in my hands. I am convinced that it can happen,” said Özil.
It’s no secret that since his arrival in the faster paced Premier League, the midfielder’s style has failed to convince the critics he does enough during a match – with recent incidents (notably swapping shirts with an opponent at half-time and being spotted at a nightclub the evening of a match in which he did not participate due to illness) serving to further fuel the flames.
The World Cup winner stated he is happy, however, and believes the physical nature of English football is serving to improve his all-round game.
I’m feeling very positive. I’m a world champion and I play at a top club in the Premier League. There is much more of a physical test here than there is in Spain or in the Bundesliga – I constantly have bruises, but that makes me harder. I feel physically better than ever.
Özil did vent some frustration in the interview, though it was aimed at those who feel the need to consistently reference his Turkish decent – although he did admit to being able to benefit from the two different cultures.
I’m proud I’ve been able to take something from both cultures.
Only I am designated as ‘the German-Turk’. When it’s Sami Khedira no one says ‘the German-Tunisian’, no one calls Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose ‘the German-Poles’. Many forget that I was born in Gelsenkirchen, and grew up in Germany.
If I don’t sing the anthem [before games] it is only because at that moment I am concentrating on the match. And I pray during the anthem for health and happiness.