EPL 2016/17: Mesut Ozil picks more former Real Madrid team-mates over Arsenal stars in world XI
Only two Arsenal players feature in Ozil's World XI.
What’s the story?
Arsenal star Mesut Ozil has picked more of his former Real Madrid teammates over his current Arsenal ones in his personal Ultimate Pro-Evolution Soccer Current World XI. The team consists of five members from Los Blancos whom he played alongside at the Santiago Bernabeu during his four-year spell with Real Madrid. He has, however, picked only two of his current Arsenal teammates in the eleven.
In case you didn’t know...
The German midfield playmaker spent four largely successful years in Madrid where he won the La Liga (2011/12), the Copa del Rey (2010/11) and the Spanish Super Cup (2012/13).
He then made a big money summer move to Arsenal for £42.5 million in 2013. Ozil became the Gunners’ club-record signing, but he still hasn’t hit the heights he did at Real Madrid both in terms of his performances as well as his trophies.
Also read: Arjen Robben picks his ultimate XI
Arsenal won the FA Cup both in 2014 and 2015 with Ozil in the squad but the Premier League title has eluded them since the 2003/04 season.
The heart of the matter
Ozil picked a 4-3-3 formation for his Ultimate FIFA Current World XI containing big names from Real Madrid, Arsenal and the German national side. He placed Manuel Neuer in goal, Marcelo at left back, Sergio Ramos and Jerome Boateng in the centre with Hector Bellerin at right back, making the young Arsenal full-back the only player to represent the Gunners in defence.
In midfield, he picked Germany’s Ilkay Gundogan as the holding midfielder and Real Madrid’s Luka Modric to partner himself, thus completing the midfield pyramid. Meanwhile, up front, Ozil chose Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, both of whom he played with at the Bernabeu, and finally his current Arsenal teammate, Alexis Sanchez.
Parallels from history
Two years prior to this, Ozil picked another World XI with Philipp Lahm at right back, Xabi Alonso and Santi Cazorla in the middle and Angel Di Maria on the right wing. That lineup also included Serge Gnabry, who he picked instead of himself as a joke.
This lineup, while selected by Ozil in a light mood and with the best intentions, shows how Arsenal lack the necessary world-class or top-bracket players in their squad. The German midfielder has been continually linked with an exit this summer and should the Gunners not sign bigger names in the next transfer window, Ozil could leave sooner than people expect him to.