Mesut Özil (German pronunciation: [ˈmeːzut ˈøːzil], Turkish pronunciation: [me̞ˈsut̪ ø̞ˈzil]) (born 15 October 1988) is a footballer who plays for Spanish La Liga club Real Madrid and for the German national team. Özil has been a youth national team member since 2006, and a member of the German national team since 2009. He gained international attention during the 2010 FIFA World Cup and was nominated for the Golden Ball Award which is awarded to the tournament's best player. Following his breakout performance at the World Cup, he was transferred from Werder Bremen to Real Madrid in August 2010.
He is known for his knack at providing assists for his team-mates and has been compared to other stars like Zidane. In 2011, he assisted the second most goals in La Liga with 17 and the most out of all Europe with 26, 12 of which were for his teammate Ronaldo.
Özil was selected for Germanys squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, starting in all of the team's matches. Özil provided an assist for Cacau's goal to the 4-0 final score against Australia in Germany's first group game. He scored a left-footed half-volley from the edge of the penalty area against Ghana in the final group game, ensuring Germany progressed to the second round as group winners. On 27 June 2010, he played in Germany's win over England in the last 16 match, setting up the fourth goal with a cross to Thomas Müller as Germany triumphed 4–1. During the quarter-final match against Argentina he assisted the second goal for Miroslav Klose with a cross to ensure the 4–0 final score for the Germans. FIFA announced that he was among the ten tournament players nominated for the Golden Ball.