Mesut Özil is a German footballer who plays for Spanish La Liga club Real Madrid and the Germany national football team. Özil began his youth career playing for various clubs in Gelsenkirchen and then played five years for Rot-Weiss Essen. In 2005, he moved to FC Schalke 04 youth programme. On 31 January 2008, he moved to Werder Bremen for a reported fee of €4.3 million, signing a contract with the German club until 30 June 2011. He led Werder Bremen to the final of the last ever UEFA Cup, losing out to Shakhtar Donetsk of Ukraine. Due to his performances in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, he ensured his place among Europe's top young talents. 17 August 201o, he moved to Real Madrid for a fee of €15 million. He made his debut on 22 August in a friendly match against Hércules, which Real Madrid won 3–1. Özil made his season debut in the Champions League on 15 September. He finished the season with 25 assists, the highest for any player in any major European competition that season. Özil was on the short-list of this year's FIFA Ballon d'Or award. His fine form with Real Madrid and German national team saw him earn nomination for UEFA Best Player in Europe Award, in which he finished 10th. Özil has been a youth national team member since 2006, and a member of the German national team since 2009.