This summer Eurosport is counting down the world's greatest footballers, as voted by our international network of journalists. We will reveal one player per day, culminating in the election of the first Ballon d'Eurosport on July 19.
- - -
Another Germany star, Ozil’s star tends to shine brighter for his national side than Real Madrid, but he is still a key player for the Liga runners-up, even if everyone is in the shadow of Cristiano Ronaldo.
A proponent of ‘between the lines’ play, Ozil’s movement is matched by a superb first touch and crafty playmaking ability. He can tire late in games, but he has grown in strength and consistency – this season was his best for Los Merengues, with nine goals and 13 assists in La Liga alone.
With Ronaldo hogging the limelight, Ozil rarely takes the headlines at Real, but he was one of Jose Mourinho's most trusted players and it would be little surprise to see the Portuguese's successor place similar faith in him.
Without resorting to excessive flashiness, Ozil is one of the best creative players in world football, and will be a key man for Germany at next summer's World Cup.
However he owes his place in our top 20 to a ringing endorsement from our Arabian journalists, who rated him fourth in the world to give Ozil nearly a third of his points.
- - -
How Eurosport voted
We asked the editorial teams of 10 countries/areas around the Eurosport network to compile their list of the world's 25 best players.
Then we did the sums, Eurovision-style. It's simple: a first-place vote is worth 25 points, second place is 24... all the way down to one point for a 25th-place vote.