When one thinks of finesse, style and class in the modern era of football, inadvertently their thoughts end up with an image of Arsenal and Germany playmaker Mesut Özil.
Born in Gelsenkirchen, West Germany, on 15 October 1988, Özil began his professional career with local club Schalke, after having spent time with the academies of Westfalia 04 Gelsenkirchen, Teutonia Schalke-Nord, Falke Gelsenkirchen and Rot-Weiss Essen. The midfielder broke into the Schalke senior team in 2006 and went on to make 39 appearances, before swapping sides for Werder Bremen in January 2008.
Özil continued to enhance his reputation at Werder, but it was the 2010 FIFA World Cup when he well and truly announced himself as a force to be reckoned with. He was one of the best players in the tournament and helped Germany to a run to the semi-finals and was also nominated for the Golden Ball award.
Following his exploits in the World Cup, Özil was snapped up by Real Madrid in the same summer and he weaved his magic in Spain, helping the Los Blancos to a Copa Del Rey trophy in his first season and a La Liga and Spanish Super Cup titles in his second year.
Having cemented his status as one of the best creative players across Europe during his time in Spain, Özil joined Arsenal in the summer of 2013, for a then club-record fee of £42.5 million. In his first season with the Gunners, Özil helped the club end a nine-year trophy drought, winning the FA Cup and has gone on to win two more FA Cups since, along with a FA Community Shield as well.
Özil also played a key role in Germany's FIFA World Cup triumph in 2014 in Brazil. Often criticized by some sets of Arsenal supporters for his languid approach, Özil has made his name as the "assist-king", due to his creative ability and eye for a pass. There are very few players out there in the current time, who make the game of football look as easy and as beautiful as Özil does.