10 years ago in Bloemfontein, against a raucous of vuvuzelas, my love affair with Mesut Özil began. 70 minutes in to the Last 16 World Cup game against England, the German announced himself to English fans. Deftly plucking a clearance out of the South African sky, Özil breezed past Gareth Barry on the halfway line, glided into the box and nutmegged Ashley Cole to square for the on-rushing Thomas Muller to score Germany’s fourth. The then-21-year old finished the tournament with 3 assists and a goal and combined with the 9 goals and 17 assists just recorded in the Bundesliga earned him the fabled move to Real Madrid.

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