Arsenal's Ozil sets sights on the FIFA Ballon D’Or award
Arsenal star Mesut Ozil appeared to have the world at his feet after making a £42 million move from Real Madrid in the summer of 2013.
His performances did not appear to dip even after moving to a new league. It was not surprising then that Ozil was on the shortlist to win the FIFA Ballon d’Or award. Since the start of 2014, though, everything has gone horribly wrong for the German midfielder.
Ozil has never been able to put together a consistent run of matches where he has been excellent. A stop and start 2014-15 season has seen the German midfielder contribute just four goals and six assists in 18 appearances.
After missing more than three months of action due to a ligament injury, Ozil has been playing consistently only in the last few weeks. Yet, the 26-year-old has revealed his ambitious plans to one-day lift the Ballon d’Or award. According to ESPN, he said:
“Should I continue to improve myself and stay healthy, I want to get my hands on the Ballon d’Or in the upcoming years. I am convinced that it can work out. I am headed in the right direction.
“I am a world champion and play at a top club in the Premier League. It’s far more physical here [England] than in Spain or in the Bundesliga.”
No Arsenal player has managed to win this award previously. Club legend Thierry Henry came the closest by finishing as the runners-up twice in 2003 and 2004.
The competition for the Ballon d’Or award has been predominantly dominated by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who boast some incredible statistics. Ozil, though, does not see the reason why he cannot lift this award with some consistent performances in the coming years.
Ozil appears to have rediscovered his form this year and it may not be long before better performances come from him. The German international is expected to be involved in the upcoming Euro 2016 qualifier against Georgia and also in the friendly against Australia.