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Five Aside

Ozil to receive German POTY award

Real Madrid forward Mesut Ozil will be recognised as Germany's player of the year for 2011 prior to kick-off at Wednesday night's friendly with France in Bremen.

Ozil, who came through the Under-19 and Under-21 ranks, has won senior 30 caps and topped a vote by members of the German Football Association's official fan club and will receive his award at the Weser Stadion.

"Of course I am delighted by this,'' the 23-year-old said.

Former Schalke youngster Ozil made his name at the World Cup in South Africa in 2010, his performances earning him a move from Werder Bremen to the Bernabeu.

Since moving to Spain, he says he has "matured and improved'' as a player and paid credit to his manager and club.

"I am glad that I can play for the biggest club in the world," he said. "Things have been made easy for me. [Mourinho] talks to me a lot and the support he gives me is important. It gives me lots of confidence to be one of the most important players in the team."

Although Ozil is delighted to pick up his individual award, the main prize that interests him is lifting the Euro 2012 trophy in Kiev on 1 July.

"We have the potential to beat anyone and we have what it takes to win the title," he said. "We are looking forward to the game. They are one of the best teams in the world and among the favourites for the title. It's a big challenge for us."

Germany assistant coach Hans-Dieter Flick said of the Player of the Year: "We are proud to have him in our team. When he has the ball, you can feel the excitement and astonishment among the fans.''


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