Mesut Ozil has given his first interview as an Arsenal player - to Arsenal Player.
Click on the PLAY button above for this exclusive with our new signing, and scroll down to read the transcript.
Mesut, welcome to Arsenal. How does it feel to be joining the Club?
It feels really good. I’m really looking forward to the challenge, life there [in London] and [meeting] my team-mates, the manager and the fans, as well as the Premier League. I’m really excited. It’s a perfect decision for me and and I’m looking forward to it all.
What made you choose Arsenal in particular? How important was Arsène Wenger in your decision?
I chose Arsenal because they are one of the top clubs in England. The coach is a world-class manager - he’s demonstrated that for years. A lot of players have developed under his guidance in the past and that’s why I decided to join Arsenal. I want to improve myself further and I’m looking forward to the style of play. Arsenal are well known for the strength of their technical game and their desire to play attacking football. I think I will fit perfectly into that. That’s why I chose to sign for the Club.
How important in your decision was the ambition of the Club and the plans they are making?
That was very important. The most important thing is that the manager has given me his trust. I want to show my potential and have fun on the pitch. I think that I can help the team through my performances.
Did you talk to Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski about the Club before you made your decision?
Unfortunately not. It all happened so fast. I spoke to the manager a lot on the phone and he presented his vision and what he thinks about me. That convinced me and that’s why I am now at Arsenal.
And what about the style of play at Arsenal. How much did that attract you?
Like I said, Arsenal are one of the technically strongest teams in the world. The manager always wants to play attractive and attacking football. I think I fit into that because I enjoy playing quickly - that ’one-touch football’. I’m happy to be part of the Club and I hope I can help the team.
Do you feel this squad can deliver trophies this season?
Definitely. In the last few years, Arsenal haven’t been so successful but we want to become more successful. We want to win trophies. I think the fans are looking forward to that too. We have a very strong and a very young team that can improve a lot under the manager. I think we will win trophies because we have the potential [to do so].
You've created more chances from open play than anyone else in Europe in the last five years. From a personal point of view, do you value assists as much as goals?
Yes, of course. It [assists] leads to success and I’m the sort of player that likes to create goals. I think a lot of my team-mates know me as a player who is not selfish. It makes me very happy when I create goals or score goals myself. But the most important thing is that the team reaches its goal and plays positive football.
The Premier League has a different style to La Liga. How do you think you will adapt and how will it add new qualities to your game?
I’m happy to be playing in the Premier League because everyone knows it’s the strongest league in the world. There are simply a lot of top teams. I want to prove myself there. It’s a new challenge for me, a new task. I’m looking forward to that. I want to improve further under the boss and in the team. I’m really excited about it.
Going back to your roots as boy playing football, it always said that Affenkafig [cage football] had big influence on your technique. Can you tell us why?
Because the pitch was so small. Most of the time, I played against people that were five or six years older than me. At the time I was not that tall. I had to establish myself against older and stronger people. Because the pitch was so small, we didn't have any corners. The game always went on. This helped me to improve my technique a lot. That definitely made my life easier for the future. I think you can see on the pitch that I'm technically gifted.
When you were a kid playing football for fun, which famous player did you pretend to be and why?
I've said recently that my idol was Zinedine Zidane because for me, he was the perfect player. He was good in the air. He was strong defensively and offensively. He was my idol. He had hardly any negative headlines including in his private life. He was a role model for me. Therefore, it was Zinedine Zidane.
You first came to the attention of the English public in 2009 at the UEFA Under-21 Championship, when you inspired Germany to a 4-0 win over England. Theo Walcott and Kieran Gibbs were playing in that game too. What do you remember of it?
In any case, it was definitely a great time. We won the Under-21 European Championship. The team was just class. We had very good players in our ranks under the management of our coaches Horst Hrubesch and Dieter Eilts. It was a very nice moment. I think we dominated the game. We really fulfilled our potential and deserved to win by such a scoreline. It was a great experience for me personally.
As a person, how much do you think you will enjoy moving to a city like London?
I think a lot. I have heard a lot of positive things about London. It’s a 'world city' where there is lots going on. You can do lots of things, also privately. I’m looking forward to the city. But I will be working there and that is what is important.
Do you have a message for the Arsenal fans?
I’m so happy to be playing at Arsenal. I’m honoured by it. I hope we can have a successful season.
Copyright 2019 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.