Mesut Ozil recently explained that despite not being as hungry for goals as his former Real Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, he is just as ambitious in different ways.
His explicit motivation is just what is needed to reassure Arsenal fans that he will give his all during the upcoming season.
The 27-year-old has previously demonstrated and stated that he is more content to assist others than score himself. In doing so, Ozil clearly plays to his strengths. Although he is not a bad goalscorer, he has continuously proven his ability as the best creator in world football on the highest stages.
He has admitted that on the football pitch he seeks nothing short of perfection:
“Cristiano Ronaldo is obviously very ambitious, but so am I,” claimed Ozil.
“I am a perfectionist on the pitch as well. I want to be successful with everything I do.
“During the time I played alongside Ronaldo, I saw that he always wanted to win everything, even on the training pitch. He is never satisfied and always wants more. He always wants more titles and there are not a lot of players with that attitude.
“Personally, I am not as hungry for goals like Ronaldo. But that’s only normal. He is an attacker. For me, scoring goals and providing assists is the same. They both win you matches.”
These statements will confirm what many Arsenal fans already knew, as it would be misguided to expect too much from him in the goalscoring department.
His touch, vision and execution of those key passes all contribute to him consistently creating the most chances in world football. To ask him to change his game so he scores more frequently may feel slightly unnatural for the player and lead to an overall decline in his performance.
Ozil’s footballing mind is such that when he opts for the pass or the shot, he has most likely figured out what he thinks will mostly likely lead to a goal for the team and acted accordingly. Any unnecessary pressure on this process of decision making would probably lead to fewer goals for the Arsenal team as a whole.
What these comments do confirm though, is that his desire is as strong as ever to contribute to the team’s success. With the upcoming season perhaps being Arsenal’s toughest in a long time with the arrival of world-class managers at the top teams, Ozil needs to be at the top of his game as often as he can be, as illustrated in his quarter-final masterclass against Italy.
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