A huge sporting summer awaits.
The summer of 2015 has barely ended but, with Euro 2016 qualifiers taking place over the course of the next week, one eye is already on the end of the season and the international stage.
The European Championships aren’t the only major sporting event next summer. The attention of the entire world will be on Rio as the Brazilian capital hosts the Olympic Games.
Somewhat worryingly for Arsenal fans, Mesut Özil is hoping to be involved in the Olympics as well as Euro 2016, as Germany field a football team at the biggest sporting event in the world for the first time since 1988.
“It would be wicked. The coach [Horst Hrubesch] decides whether I’ll receive a call up,” Özil said. The German midfielder is currently hoping to be fit for Euro 2016 qualifier against Poland on Friday, but has also thought about the possibility of playing in the other major tournament this summer.
“Should he ask me, I would not say no. I would love to take part in the Olympic Games in Rio and chase the medals with our lads. The Olympic Games would certainly be a real career highlight.”
The Arsenal midfielder missed last weekend’s win over Newcastle United with a knee injury which could keep him out of the crucial match against Poland.
Thankfully for Germany the top two sides in the qualification group go through so, despite a disappointing start to the qualifiers the world champions are still in a comfortable position. A home win against the Poles, who currently top the group, will reaffirm their chances of making the summer’s tournament without requiring a play-off round.
Should they make it, and they surely will, Özil only has one aim on his mind.
“As a World Cup winner I want to become a European champion in France next year. That’s our big goal.
“I want to win the European Championships with Germany.”
Who can blame him? The Arsenal midfielder is a huge talent and is surrounded by players of his ability when he plays for the national team. The world champions could become European champions in the summer and, while it would ruin Arsène Wenger’s plans for the start of the 2016/17 season, who could begrudge Mesut the shot at an Olympic medal?