Clubs: FC Schalke 04, SV Werder Bremen, Real Madrid CF, Arsenal FC
• Özil was born in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, to second-generation Turkish immigrants; he played youth football for Rot-Weiss Essen before returning home to launch his professional career with FC Schalke 04. Made his Bundesliga debut against Eintracht Frankfurt in August 2006 but managed only 30 appearances for Schalke before joining SV Werder Bremen in January 2008.
• Started off as the understudy playmaker to Diego but stood in for the Brazilian in the 2009 UEFA Cup final defeat by FC Shakhtar Donetsk and scored the only goal in the German Cup showpiece against Bayer 04 Leverkusen ten days later.
• Starred in Germany's victory at the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Sweden, scoring one goal and setting up two more in the final as England were beaten 4-0.
• Made his senior international debut on 11 February 2009 in a friendly against Norway; rose to the occasion at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, where he started all seven matches, scoring one goal against Ghana and providing three assists to help Germany finish third.
• Joined national team colleague Sami Khedira at Madrid in August 2010 when he made a €15m switch from Bremen and won the Liga title in his second season, scoring four goals in 35 appearances, and helped the side to three successive UEFA Champions League semi-finals.
• Became Arsenal's record signing on 2 September 2013 for a reported €50m, scoring his first goal for the Gunners a month later against SSC Napoli on UEFA Champions League matchday two.
UEFA Cup: runner-up 2009
UEFA European Under-21 Championship: winner 2009
UEFA.com users' Team of the Year: 2012, 2013
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