Euro 2012: Germany coach Loew expects Ozil to 'explode'

Watch out for a blast on the field the next time Germany play at the European Championship. Germany coach Joachim Loew says playmaker Mesut Ozil will "explode" in the quarter-finals against Greece.

Reported by: Associated Press
Last updated on Wednesday, 20 June, 2012 00:42 IST
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Gdansk: Watch out for a blast on the field the next time Germany play at the European Championship.

Germany coach Joachim Loew says playmaker Mesut Ozil will "explode" in the quarter-finals against Greece.

The Real Madrid midfielder has had a quiet tournament so far, but Loew expects Ozil to improve dramatically on Friday in Gdansk.

"The big explosion of Ozil will still come," Loew said. "At the 2010 World Cup it also happened after the group stage.

"I have the feeling that it's coming now again."

Ozil did not train with the team on Tuesday, but Loew did not explain why. But the coach said Ozil — plus Lars Bender and Bastian Schweinsteiger, who also missed training — would be fit for Friday's game.

In Germany's three wins so far, Ozil had one assist. He was voted man of the match in the opening 1-0 win over Portugal, although the goal came from Mario Gomez.

"What's been missing from his game is to be open more of the time and to pass more in the attack," Loew said.

One of the best aspects of Ozil's game is his ability to split defenses with passes into space, something that he's rarely displayed so far at this tournament.

But Loew also praised Ozil for covering a lot of ground in all his matches. Ozil is considered Germany's most creative player.

The midfielder played a major role in Germany's demolitions of England (4-1) and Argentina (4-0) at the World Cup in South Africa two years ago. He also scored the only goal against Ghana that secured Germany's slot in the knockout stage.

Born in Gelsenkirchen to Turkish parents, Ozil got his first professional contract at 17 and played 30 Bundesliga matches as a teenager for Schalke.

He later moved to Werder Bremen and scored the winning goal in the German Cup final over Bayer Leverkusen in 2009.

He was "man of the match" in the final of the Under-21 European Championship when Germany beat England and made his full Germany debut the same year, in 2009. In 36 games for Germany, he has scored eight goals.

Story first published on: Wednesday, 20 June 2012 00:39 IST

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