Mesut Ozil is convinced he can emulate and beat the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to the Ballon d’Or in the next few years.
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The German has been harangued in the British press for a perceived lack of effort, and the belief that he hasn’t lived up to his whopping £42.4m (via BBC Sport) back in September 2013.
However, following a three-month layoff with a knee injury, Ozil has shown a remarkable resurgence in form to become one of the Gunners’ most important players.
And perhaps it is this form that has seen him make such a shock revelation…
“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,” said Ozil to German newspaper Bild via Daily Star.
“I am convinced that it can happen. 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.”
There’s no doubting Ozil is a key cog in the Arsenal machine – almost the glue that keeps Arsene Wenger’s side together – but whether that in itself is enough to get him on the shortlist for the Ballon d’Or is highly debatable.
The likes of Messi and Ronaldo consistently rack up mind-boggling goal statistics, and the former is only one year older than Ozil – meaning the little Argentine won’t be finished by the time Ozil can think about a free run at the gong… As an example of the statistical difference, Ronaldo boasts 40 goals and 13 assists so far this season, while Ozil has just four and six respectively.
And considering the importance trophies seem to play in the selection of the eventual winner, it’s difficult to see Ozil seriously launching a serious campaign for the individual title while with Arsenal – who were yet again feebly knocked out of the Champions League.