Dortmund trip sees Ozil return home
Mesut Ozil says he is relishing returning home to the Ruhr area for Real Madrid's Champions League semi-final first leg with Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday, and insists his side are travelling to Germany in search of a win.
Nearly seven years after his Bundesliga debut as a 17-year-old, Ozil, who scored twice for Madrid against Real Betis at the weekend, will return as one of the club's most dangerous weapons.
The Gelsenkirchen-born son of Turkish immigrants started his career just a short distance from Dortmund's Westfalenstadion, wearing the colours of rivals Schalke.
"I am really looking forward to the Dortmund game," Ozil told kicker. "The stadium is just half an hour away from my parents' home. My family and many friends will be there. That's pretty cool for such an important game."
Madrid have already met Dortmund twice this season in the Champions League group stages. The La Liga side lost 2-1 at the Westfalenstadion first time around, before drawing 2-2 at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Ozil, however, feels that his side's fortunes have changed since then and is backing the club to secure a positive result.
"You should never forget with good reason they won the league twice in a row," he said. "They have a very good team and a super coach. We had not found our rhythm in the first game. A lot was missing and Borussia lived off the euphoria.
"But recently against Malaga you could see they suddenly had problems. Here at Real we have been on a good run over the past months and over the past few weeks everything has worked out.
"We are Real Madrid. And we want to show that. We want to bring through our game and we don't fit our game to the opponent. We travel to Dortmund to win - so we don't have to rely on the return leg."
Ozil says he is desperate to finally reach a Champions League final, having been denied by Barcelona and Bayern Munich in previous semi-finals over the years.
"We have been working on reaching the final all year," Ozil said. "For me personally it [winning the Champions League] is very important. I want to win every big title and Champions League is the biggest title in club football. The whole world will be watching those semi-finals. By all means, we want to win the Champions League. Looking at our squad we have the quality to win every title."
Ozil will not only have a meeting with his past, as he is also set to clash with Germany team-mates Mats Hummels, Mario Gotze, Sven Bender, Ilkay Gundogan, Marcel Schmelzer and Marco Reus.
"It's also nice to compete against my colleagues from the Germany team, I've got many friends on the Dortmund team," he said. "I enjoy every game that I can play in Germany. I am usually on foreign territory with Real Madrid."