Mesut Özil has revealed his admiration for Zinedine Zidane as a youngster growing up.
The attack-minded midfielder, who retired in 2006 and has since become only the seventh man to win the UEFA Champions League as both a player and manager, has received praise by the German international.
As quoted by the club’s official website Özil said, “I always saw him as a complete player. He could use both feet, was dangerous in-front of goals, strong defensively, good in the air and had an unbelievable first touch.”
Özil’s style of play has reportedly drawn comparisons to that of Zidane, as he admitted plenty of people have told him in the past that he reminds them of the legendary Frenchman.
“A lot of people told me at the time that my style of play reminded them of him. They’d say ‘you are calm and seem to have time on the pitch, even if 10 people are going at you, you always find a solution’. That always fascinated me about Zidane.
“I watched what he’d do on the pitch and want to do it myself when I was a young kid. Most things I picked up quickly, thank God. As I said, he was my idol,” Mesut continued.
The 28-year-old also said that he’s previously met his idol, which was a nice experience at the time.
“I’ve met him and it’s all the nicer when you get to know his character and know him as a person. For me that was a special moment back then.“