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Tuesday April 23 2013
Ozil, Madrid’s key in Dortmund

Gary Linton believes that Real Madrid’s key to success against Borussia Dortmund relies on the performance of German Mesut Ozil.

Real Madrid take on Borussia Dortmund in the second of the Champions League semi-finals this week. All eyes will most likely be on Cristiano Ronaldo, but luckily for Real Madrid, they have another not-so-secret weapon up their sleeve, Mesut Ozil. He, like Ronaldo, can change the game in Madrid’s favour within the blink of an eye and, who in returning to his home country, may be the man to watch on Wednesday.

There’s no-one at Real Madrid at the moment that has more assists than Ozil, whilst he is also the club’s fourth top goal-scorer this season behind only the club’s trio of forwards Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema. Also his eye for a key pass is simply astonishing he averages 2.9 key passes per game - 81 in total - the most in La Liga this season. And even if he rarely finishes a full 90 minutes, Ozil is only behind Ronaldo again for appearances this term.

Already this season he’s showed just how important he can be to the team - take the weekend for instance, playing the 90 minutes against Betis he ripped them apart more than once, scoring twice in the 3-1 win and walking away as man of the match. If not that game, then take his 13 minute substitution appearance two weeks ago against Levante as a hint of just how deadly he can be, as he netted twice more with what seemed like little time to do anything. Right now he’s in great form.

Combine this with the fact that he plays alongside most of the Dortmund players for Germany and the years he spent in the Bundesliga and Ozil seemingly has a lot of cards to play this midweek.

Dortmund are no strangers to Ozil either, as they’ve already suffered this season from his excellence, back in November, when they were on their way to a famous victory over Real Madrid in the Bernabeu, only to see him step up and save the day, firstly with a beautiful assist for Pepe’s goal and then with his wonderful free-kick in the last minute of the game to level the scores and earn Madrid a point.

Since his arrival in Madrid, Ozil has continued to adapt and grow and is now one of the top players in world football. He has the skill, pace and the determination and also a great eye for a pass, he knows where the back of the net is and quite frankly, with him being just 24, the world and what the future holds for Ozil is decided by only himself. It is all at his feet so to speak. And as many have already said – he’s the future of Real Madrid.

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