Mesut Ozil produced a man-of-the-match performance after being named Arsenal captain for Monday’s 3-1 Premier League win over Leicester.
The enigmatic German scored one goal and made two others for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as the Gunners recorded a 10th successive victory in all competitions.
Here, Football Paradise looks at some of the highs and lows of Ozil’s career.
Leading by example
The 30-year-old is often criticised for going missing in games but he was at his best on Monday evening to tear apart the Foxes. Captaining the north London club for the first time, Ozil was at the heart of his side’s best attacking play, including a superb assist for the third goal.
World Cup winner
At the end of his first season with Arsenal, Ozil won football’s ultimate prize as Germany became the first European team to win a World Cup on South American soil. He started all seven of his country’s matches in Brazil, scoring the extra-time winner in the second-round success against Algeria.
Ozil, who has won three FA Cups since moving to England from Real Madrid for £42.5million in 2013, picked up Arsenal’s player of year award for his fantastic form in the 2015-16 season. He laid on 19 Premier League goals for his team-mates that campaign – the most of any player in the division – including assists in seven successive matches.
On the back of Germany’s limp World Cup defence during the summer, Ozil was heavily criticised for his performances before announcing his international retirement. He cited mistreatment from the German Football Association and a lack of protection from racist abuse. Ozil, who is of Turkish descent, was also widely criticised in Germany for being photographed with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Criticism from club greats
Ozil took to Facebook to defend himself in September last year following negative comments from a number of former Gunners players. With his contract and long-term future still in doubt, he was accused of having a “defeatist attitude” and “going through the motions” by Emmanuel Petit and Martin Keown, while Paul Merson claimed the forward “doesn’t show up half the time”.
Ex-Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger suggested Ozil was drained of confidence after “shaking his head for five or 10 minutes” following a crucial penalty miss in a Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich in February 2014. The player apologised to fans but was subsequently dropped for the next two matches and did not start a Premier League game for more than two months, partly due to injury.
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