Mesut Özil: "I have become stronger in Real Madrid"

Mesut Özil, who is currently with his national team to play two qualifying matches for the 2014 World Cup, spoke to the German Football Association press of his time with Real Madrid. The midfielder acknowledged having improved significantly in the three years he has been in Spain under Mourinho's direction: “I have become stronger physically in Real Madrid and my performance is more consistent. I continue to have fun on the playing field and to enjoy football. Of course I have matured as a football player and I'm more experienced”.

Mesut Ozil attending a press conference of Germany national team
Mesut Özil

In spite of his great form, Özil expressed his ambition to continue to advance his game: “I realise that there are still aspects of my playing to improve. Above all in terms of goal statistics. My numbers could be better. I could take more shots at goal even though I'm a playmaker and my job is to set up goals rather than score them. That's what I will focus on. But that doesn't mean I won't try to score more”.

The Whites midfielder spoke of his great performance in the last match against Mallorca, where he went on in the second half and his contribution was decisive: “I didn't resolve the match alone. We improved as a team and then we scored the goals. We have to continue. Although Barcelona has a good lead, we want to win all the matches. That has to be Real Madrid's objective”.

Apart from the Spanish League, Özil is also focused on the Champions League playoff against Galatasaray: “I wouldn't describe myself as a supporter of any Turkish teams but I remember the big derbies there together with my friends. I'm very excited that we're going to Istambul. I have friends and some of my family live there. The matches in Turkey are always special for me. But, of course, our objective is to go through to the next round, although afterwards many people feel disappointed in Turkey”.

Lastly, he took a look back on his years in Real Madrid. Specifically, he spoke of the day he made his debut: “I remember that I was very excited. That's not very common for me. But my first appearance with Real Madrid was something special. I remember that I sat on the bench next to Sami (Khedira) and after an hour my opportunity came. It ended as a goalless draw but for me it was a small victory having made my debut in "La Liga" with Real Madrid. I'm now in my third campaign. It's incredible how fast everything goes. So much has happened in a short time. I've matured in Spain. I've had the privilege of getting to know Spanish culture and the city of Madrid as well as another language. At first it was a little difficult because I lived alone. Now I live with my family and that makes everything easier. The team has helped me with everything and, of course, Sami Khedira”.

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