The Top Career Moments When Mesut Ozil Went into Full 'der Rabe' Mode

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der Rabe's stellar career

'der Rabe', which translates to 'The Raven'.

As Mesut Ozil left Arsenal and moved to Fenerbahce, it was easy to forget why the German carries the reputation that precedes him. He is a true footballing artist. A man belonging to a rapidly depleting breed of creative number 10s, that despite his shortcomings, will be remembered with great fondness by Arsenal fans, Real Madrid fans and those in Germany.

We take a look at some of the glowing highlights in his trophy-laden career so far.

Breaking onto the international scene at the 2010 World Cup

After a dazzling season with Werder Bremen where his nine goals and 17 assists helped them on their way to a third place finish, Ozil was a late inclusion in Joachim Low’s Germany squad for the 2010 World Cup.

Although relatively unknown outside Germany at the time, he grasped at the opportunity to announce himself on the world stage, and featured in every starting lineup right up until their semi-final defeat to Spain.

At just 21, the German was among the 10 nominees for the Golden Ball, with his fleet-footed performances earning him praise amongst the global media, and *that* left-footed half-volley from the edge of the box against Ghana will live long in the memory of football fans.

His Exceptional debut season in Madrid

Shortly after the 2010 World Cup, Real Madrid were amongst a whole host of potential suitors who were ready to secure his signature, with Los Blancos narrowly edging out their rivals Barcelona to sign the German.

Alongside the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema, the then 21-year-old took up the mantle from a struggling Kaka as the chief playmaker, finishing the season with breathtaking 28 assists, which was more than any other player in Europe that season.

In his first two starts for Madrid, he exited the field in the second half to a standing ovation from the fans, and his first season at the club earned him the reputation as one of the most exciting young midfielders in the world.

It quite literally took Ozil one season on the big stage to be classed as one of the very best in the world.

Pulling the strings in his only league title win in football

Ozil further cemented his place in the hearts of the Real fans, as he was a key feature in Jose Mourinho’s title-winning side back in 2012. He adopted the number 10 shirt, signalling the manager's admiration for his newfound chief creator.

In this second season in Spain, the German racked up 19 assists in the league, repeating the feat he achieved in his debut season, taking La Liga's top assist provider once more and the German Player of the Year for the second year running.

Ozil's creativity helped Madrid to a 100 points tally at the end of the season, and achieving the seemingly impossible task of stopping Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona from total dominance in Spain - to this day this remains just the third time a Guardiola team was beaten in a title race.

Helping end Arsenal's trophy drought

Much to the surprise of Arsenal and Real fans alike, Ozil secured a move to the Gunners in 2013, citing a lack of faith from the management as a reason for his departure. Nevertheless, it showed ambition from Arsenal, and he quickly became a fan-favourite after assisting Olivier Giroud on his debut against Sunderland.

He continued his mesmerising midfield performances in England, scoring seven and assisting 13 in all competitions that year, while helping Arsenal on their way to the FA Cup, which put an end to a nine-year trophy drought.

It was clear that his partnership with Santi Cazorla could welcome in a new age at Arsenal, and his arrival at the Emirates breathed new life into the side.

almost matching Henry's assist record

In his third season in north London, he formed a frightening partnership with Alexis Sanchez as the club started to build on recent cup successes.

Despite not winning any trophies in the 2015/16 season, it was arguably the German’s most successful season in England, as he recorded eight goals and an incredible 19 assists in the Premier League, which was one behind Thierry Henry's incredible record of 20 when the Frenchman was at the peak of his powers back in the 2002/03 season.

This earned him Arsenal Player of the Year, and will certainly be remembered as his greatest season in an Arsenal shirt and one of his most creative in general.

By Charlie Rhodes


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