Arsenal star Mesut Ozil has admitted that he’s still got his sights trained on winning the Ballon d’Or, despite the fact that he’s struggling to consistently impress since his move from Real Madrid.
The Germany international has been largely hit and miss during his first campaign and a half in English football, attracting praise and criticism in equal measures. However the man himself remains unperturbed by the naysayers, and though he has spoken over how physically demanding the Premier League is, remains confident he can yet go onto win football’s biggest individual prize.
Ballon d'Or aspirations
"Should I continue to improve myself and stay healthy, I want to get my hands on the Ballon d'Or in the upcoming years," he told Bild, as relayed by the Daily Mirror.
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"I am convinced that it can work out. I am headed in the right direction.
Of course that accolade has only been shared between Messrs Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi since 2008, with the pair holding dominion due to their incredible annual showings. If Ozil is to get amongst them he’ll have to do far better than he’s done with Arsenal to date, but believes that he is ever-improving amongst the harsh surrounding of England’s top flight.
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Premier League adjustments
"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. I constantly have bruises, but it only makes me stronger, and physically I feel better than ever before."
Up until the now the jibes and barbs aimed at Ozil have been fair enough, with the 26-year-old not being nearly so potent for the Gunners as he was during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu. A sublime playmaker on his day, he’s been criticised for disappearing from the big games, with Manchester United legend Paul Scholes a serial offender when it comes to pointing out the former Real man’s flaws.
And yet there simply has to be light at the end of the tunnel for the World Cup winner, whose momentary sparks of genius for Arsenal are testament to the talent hiding underneath a veil of normality since Arsene Wenger decided to spend over £42 million on his signature.
The Ozil of old returns?
Perhaps now he is beginning to adapt to the Premier League in a manner that he has struggled with thus far, and if that’s the case the Arsenal fans will have quite the player on their hands.
Though Ozil’s never been one to spin off the shoulder of a last defender or burst through back-lines with extraordinary pace, his vision remains impeccable, and his feet are able to pick passes from near on impossible angles. Such mastery of the assisting side of the game is afforded to so few, which is probably why the Germany star has garnered such frustrations.
Even so Ozil will have to add goals to his game if he’s to ever win the Ballon d’Or, which is likely to be contested between the aforesaid two juggernauts for the time being. Ronaldo and Messi both score comfortably over 20 league goals a season, whilst also assisting plenty as well, leaving the former’s ex-teammate with plenty to do.
Arsenal fans, could Ozil ever win the Ballon d’Or? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below...