Having featured in the UEFA Cup final for Werder Bremen, been named man of the match in Germany's 4-0 win against England in the UEFA European Under-21 Championship showpiece and made his senior international debut, 2009 was a year to remember for Mesut Özil. He is not resting on his laurels, however. In this Q&A with UEFA.com readers, the 21-year-old discusses his FIFA World Cup ambitions and desire for another European run with Bremen – though they must overturn a 1-0 first leg deficit against FC Twente in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 on Thursday.
Are we going to see Werder Bremen in the Europa League final?
Mesut Özil: I hope we make it again like last year, but there are many good teams still involved. At the moment we can't think beyond the match against Twente.
What do you think about FC Twente?
Henk Timmer, 17, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Özil: They're top of the Dutch league for a reason – they have a very good team. I'm particularly impressed with their attacking capabilities.
Who is the toughest opponent you have faced in the Bundesliga?
Ahmed, 18, Abuja, Nigeria
Özil: I've come up against quite a few, but I find it very tough playing against Hamit Altıntop of Bayern. Not because he is a friend of mine − he's really strong when it comes to tackling and fighting for the ball.
With Diego beginning a new adventure abroad, do you feel any additional pressure? If so, have you found a hobby or distraction to take your mind off things?
Joseph Cunningham, 29, Dublin, Ireland
Özil: No, I haven't felt any more pressure since Diego's departure. I always try to put everything aside in order to give 100 per cent on the pitch and help the team as much as possible. When I'm not playing, I like my PlayStation, as well as listening to Turkish music and US hip-hop.
Is Diego the best player you have played with?
Ricardo Tito, 25, São Paulo, Brazil
Özil: He's certainly a really good player, but in the teams I've played for there have been a lot of other good players.
What is the highlight of your career so far?
John Franks, 26, Montreal, Canada
Özil: Thankfully, I've made it to a few finals already. They were the highlights, obviously, and playing my first game for Germany, a friendly against Norway [in February 2009].
What are Germany's chances at the World Cup?
Mirza Aliyev, 23, Baku, Azerbaijan
Özil: We have very good team. If we play to our potential, I see us getting far. We have to have great discipline. The key to success is the ambition to keep improving.
Why did you choose the German national team over Turkey?
Özil: It was clear for a while that I would try to play for Germany. I have represented the national team at every youth level and now I'm happy and proud to be part of such a great senior team.
What advice would give young people who want to make it as a professional?
Ozgun Koc, London
Özil: My advice to anyone trying to be a professional is to work hard at all times and try to constantly improve your game.
Who is your favorite team?
Lungu Ivan, 21, Criuleni, Moldova
Özil: When I was child I was a fan of Barcelona. I still like to watch their games.
Who is your favourite player and why?
Ruman, 24, Bangladesh
Özil: I used to love watching Zinédine Zidane. He had fantastic style, and played football in his own unique style.
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