Mesut Ozil is a midfield magician, casting an elegant spell over opponents and conjuring passes through gaps lesser mortals can't even see. After an eventful sojourn among the Galacticos of Real Madrid he has savoured silverware at Arsenal, while in 2014 he lifted the World Cup with Germany.
But his life and career have been a test of resilience. Growing up in Germany's Turkish community, he faced prejudice from those who claimed his dual identity would prevent him giving his all for the national team. Later came questions over a different type of commitment, the kind levelled against those, like Mesut Ozil, who excel in football's finer arts rather than relying simply on running and ruggedness. He has proved concerns on both these issues lack substance.
In Gunning for Greatness, Mesut Ozil reveals the inside stories of his relationships with Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger, his quest to help the under-fire Frenchman restore Arsenal's pre-eminence - and how he silenced the sceptics by conquering the world.
Mesut Ozil was born in 1988 to Turkish parents at Gelsenkirchen in what was then West Germany. An attacking midfielder, his professional career began with home-town team Schalke 04 and led him to Werder Bremen and Real Madrid before he joined Arsenal for a club-record GBP42.5m in 2013. His honours include FA Cup success with Arsenal, a Spanish title with Real and the German Cup at Bremen. A five-time Player of the Year in Germany, he made his debut for the national team aged 20 and was a member of their World Cup-winning side in 2014.