Mesut Ozil has looked back on the 2009 DFB-Pokal final he played in with Werder Bremen.
Ozil won the competition with Werder Bremen back in 2009.
He was only 20-years-old at the time, but scored the only goal of the final between Bremen and Bayer Leverkusen.
The two sides meet again in this year’s competition.
Ahead of that encounter, Ozil spoke with DFB.de about his memories of the final.
“It’s one of those games that I probably won’t ever forget. Winning the cup was the biggest achievement of my career to that point, and to cap it all off, I scored the winning goal,” he said.
Asked if the goal was one of the most important of his career, Ozil said it was up there, but also highlighted the quality of his teammates.
“Thanks to that goal, I won my first ever title. I haven’t won the DFB-Pokal again since that point either, so for those reasons, I’d say it has to be up there,” he said.
“However, when I look at back at that day, I mainly think of that extraordinary team that I had a chance to be a part of.
“I looked up to players like Diego, Claudio Pizarro or even Frank Baumann and Torsten Frings so much back then. I’m very proud to be able to say that I won the cup with those guys.”
His German cup success was just the beginning of an excellent career. Months later, he would win the first of his 88 caps for Germany.
The midfielder feels that the experience of the final was important, but that he was comfortable in the Germany side regardless.
“It’s hard to say. Even if we had narrowly lost that game, it would have been an experience that I could have drawn upon and used to build myself as a player. So I wouldn’t say that the victory has had that sort of effect on my career. I felt comfortable in the national side since the very beginning and settled in quickly. It’s a special feeling every time I get selected in the squad. That hasn’t changed to this day.”
Bremen reached the 2010 DFB-Pokal final as well, but were beaten 4-0 by Bayern Munich.
Ozil came out of the game determined to learn from it.
“My memories of that game are not as fond. But that’s what the DFB-Pokal is about. It is predicated on emotion. In 2009 we won it all, but a year later our hearts were broken. You have to learn from experiences like that though.”
Now at Arsenal, Ozil has less time to follow German football, but said he tries to keep up with what’s going on.
“If I can then I’ll definitely try and watch the games. But as people well know, we have a lot of games in England to be preparing for,” he said.
“I do catch up with all the results at least, and I like to see how my ex-teams are doing, as well as my teammates from the national squad.”