In his interview with Arsenal’s website, Mesul Ozil talks about what he finds important in football – and also has some advice for the future football talents. The 30-year-old takes us back to the beginning of his career, when he was playing for the German club Schalke 04.
The German midfielder moved to the youth system of Schalke in 2005 and it was thought that he would do wonders for the club after he had made Schalke’s first team. Nevertheless, he had a falling out with the club and reportedly refused to renew his contract because he thought he was worth more than the annual fee of 1.5 million euros that he was being offered.
Regardless of the circumstances under which he departed the club, Ozil still wanders off into the past. He remembers the challenges he was facing playing for the club as a teenager and wanting to contribute to its successes.
The thing he found the most important was believing in himself regardless of whether he was having a good or a bad day. He firmly believes that even when you are having doubts about yourself you should not let them get to you. Keep working hard and – having fun!
Entering the first-team dressing room at Schalke made him both nervous and excited, but also in disbelief. He remembers how in awe he felt about being in the presence of his new teammates.
“I was very, very quiet. […] I was just looking and thinking, ‘Oh my God, now I am here!”, he says.
The difficult part was the pressure he felt to constantly prove himself, especially because he did not have a lot of minutes for that on the pitch. Even when he was not given an opportunity to play after training hard, what gave him the strength to carry on was the other teammates, who approached him and told him how good he was. That he needed to believe in himself and his time would come.
It has been almost fifteen years since Mesut Ozil started climbing the mountain. And now he is on top of it.