Joachim Low’s side delivered on their potential this summer and the Arsenal playmaker believes he and his team-mates demonstrated the character they have in the squad
Germany star Mesut Ozil believes that he and his team-mates went a long way to silencing their critics when they won the World Cup earlier this summer.
Joachim Low’s side had made a habit of falling short in major tournaments in recent years, reaching the last four of the competition in 2006 and 2010 and Euro 2012, as well as the Euro 2008 final.
However, they bucked the trend in Brazil, beating the hosts in the semi-finals before seeing off Argentina to life the trophy at the Maracana, despite some skeptical voices in the German media.
“Lots of people in the media had their say before the tournament and gave many opinions, some positive and some negative, about the team and individual players,” he told Arsenal’s official website.
“Things like us not being a team or not being mature enough, that some players wouldn’t’t battle enough or weren’t’t able to do certain things. We proved to everyone what strong character we have as a team.
Of course you need some luck at a tournament like the World Cup too. The success shows that we are strong and that as a team and as individuals, we did not let ourselves be affected by what was reported in the media.
“We always believed in ourselves and there was always positive energy around the team.
“In the past, we’ve been unlucky or not quite been able to maximise our potential and have gone out just before the end [of major tournaments].
“This time, we were finally able to overcome that and reach the final. Once we got there, we knew that we could bring back the trophy.”
Low tweaked his system during the tournament, fielding Ozil on either flank, but the Arsenal playmaker was happy with his performances in a new role.
“I was very satisfied,” he said. “It’s important to remember that I played on the left flank, a position that I’ve never really played in before. In the past, I’ve either been on the right side or in the playmaker position.
“I’m pleased with the statistics and they are part of the reason I was content with my performances.”