Ozil is a unique player in how he’s able to always carry the ball forward. He always seems to be attacking and trying to push the ball forward rather than backwards. He sort of rolls off defenders. He turns away from them and continues to go forward like it's nothing. He doesn’t just hold on to the ball but spin into the attacking area and create chances.
Keys to playing like Ozil:
Ability to drive at defenders on the dribble
Change of pace: can switch gears after he beats a defender
Vision: can read the game and play balls in behind the defense when players making overlaping runs or play give and goes
Able to spin and turn away from pressure
Always looking to go forward and not backwards
Deadly passer of the ball
Whips in precise crosses at pace
Holds the ball until a team is open
At just 21 years old, Ozil is on the rise as one of the up and coming greats in the game. And in his short time at Real Madrid so far, which snapped him up after the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, he’s even over shadowed Cristiano Ronaldo at times.
Ozil has been the player who creates goal scoring chances, the one who goes at defenders, and the one who swings in dangerous crosses. There’s a lightness about Ozil's play. He's at ease and seems to thrive on the big stage. If he’s closed down he finds away to slip the ball through to a teammate or get a shot of for himself.
Ozil favors his left foot, so when he’s on the right side he loves to cut inside with the ball in like Arjen Robben to take a shot. He can bend in corners, free kicks, and crosses with this left foot with pinpoint accuracy.
Ozil is also an unselfish player. Time and time again you see him cut the ball back to teammates after he’s beaten a player down the line. But these passes are refined in a way, and not easy back passes. He can flick, chip, slip and needle in a pass just at the right time and with just the right weight, so teammate can finish with ease. He sets players up and puts the ball on a platter for them to finish.
To play like Ozil you have to be able to cut the ball in any direction, so as to avoid pressure. This is the art of playing like Ozil, cutting and and slicing up defenders and making their heads spin. But not with wild movements or step overs, Ozil's style of play is understated. Yet Ozil still plays with a confidence and eagerness. He’s determined to make that killer pass and score that game winning goal.