“My technique and feeling for the ball is the Turkish side to my game. The discipline, attitude and always-give-your-all is the German part”

Since 2006, the German football team has done more than most to embrace the changing face of modern Germany, and no player represents that more than Mesut Ozil. In a country that has seen millions of migrants take up German citizenship, Germany has fielded an increasingly multicultural team at each successive World Cup since hosting the event in 2006.Alongside the likes of Sami Khedira (who has a Tunisian father), Jerome Boateng (Ghanaian father) and Marko Marin (Bosnian-Serb heritage), Ozil is a third-generation Turkish-German, who says his ancestry comes from north-western Turkey. He credits his style of play to his heritage, but his attitude to his country of birth.

A devout Muslim, Ozil will often be seen standing by himself reciting a passage from the Quran before entering the field of play. During the German national anthem, Ozil is often silent, or silently reciting the Quranic passage to himself. Ozil’s mix of creative flair, vision and eye for a pass has seen him labelled as world football’s king of the assist, making him one of the sport’s most fascinating players to watch.

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