Mesut Ozil: The world at his feet
German midfielder might be the next best thing
Born: Oct. 21,1988, in Gelsenkirchen, Germany
Position: Striker, midfield
Nickname: Der Neue Diego (the new Diego)
Clubs played for: The 21-year-old grew up with several youth teams in Gelsenkirchen before making his professional debut with Schalke in 2006. Ozil played nearly 50 times for Die Konigsblauen (The Royal Blues) in two years before moving to Werder Bremen in January 2008, and being anointed the new Diego. In 2008-2009, Ozil established himself in the first team and capped off an impressive year with a German Cup and a UEFA under-21 European Championship.
International career: Ozil was the star of the Germany's 2009 UEFA under-21 European Championship winning team, and immediately after became a part of Die Mannschaft's (The team's) qualifying run to the 2010 World Cup. If he doesn't start any of Germany's games, Ozil will surely be a substitute who is used regularly by head coach Joachim Low.
Why is he so special? Quite simply, Ozil has a lot of talent. He can hit the ball from any distance at pace. He can weigh a pass perfectly at any distance. And he can run with the ball quickly and incisively. If he can add a little muscle to his skinny six-foot frame, he might be a future FIFA World Player of the Year
His most famous moment: Ozil scored the gamewinner in the 2009 German Cup final, a sharp, running strike from an acute angle that pierced between the legs of Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Rene Adler.
He said it: "It would be a dream come true to win the World Cup with Germany. We've certainly got the potential to go all the way."
What they're saying about him: "Mesut can decide a match on his own. He's quick-thinking and the ball just seems to stick to his feet, like Messi." — Naldo, Werder Bremen teammate
Here is an interesting fact: Ozil's father Mustafa says his son needs to put on more muscle to become one of the world's best: "We (Ozil's parents) keep Mesut's refrigerator full when we come." For his part, Ozil is keeping track of any weight gain but he is worried any added muscle will slow him down: "I must not build too much muscle," he said.