English Premiership

Ozil's Olympic dream

2015-09-03 08:39
Mesut Ozil (Supplied)
Mesut Ozil (Supplied)

Berlin - Arsenal star Mesut Ozil has said he dreams of helping Germany win Olympic gold at Rio de Janeiro 2016 next year - much to the surprise of the national side's senior staff.

The 26-year-old told magazine Sport Bild "it would be awesome" to help his country win Olympic gold at the 2016 games, two years after helping Germany to victory in the World Cup final at Rio's Maracana Stadium.

But with the finals of Euro 2016 taking place in France from June 10-July 10 and the Rio Olympics starting on August 5 next year, Ozil knows his gold-medal chances are slim, especially as his club Arsenal will want him back for pre-season training.

"Playing at the Olympics would be a dream," Ozil told SID, an AFP subsidiary.

"But I understand that it would be difficult to implement due to the scheduling requirements."

To play at the Olympics, players must be under-23, but three over-age players are allowed in each country's squad.

Horst Hrubesch, who will coach the Germany team at the Olympics, said he "wouldn't say no" to having Ozil available, but the senior team's manager Oliver Bierhoff barely took the idea seriously.

"I'd be interested to see how his club would react," mused Bierhoff.

"At the end of the day, everything is possible, but Euro 2016 takes priority and I can hardly imagine that he wants to play in both."

Head coach Joachim Low was equally unimpressed with the idea.

"No, I can't imagine that," Low told German magazine Kicker.

"Given the dates, that would be very difficult."

Clearly the chance to win an Olympic medal is not as appealing to Ozil's team-mates with Thomas Mueller saying he "wouldn't put his hand up" to play, while Toni Kroos said he would "make his place available" to other candidates.

The idea has been muted that retired defenders Philipp Lahm of Bayern Munich and Ozil's Arsenal team-mate Per Mertesacker could play for Germany in Rio, but both Brazil 2014 winners have ruled the idea out.

Mexico are the reigning Olympic men's champions having won the title in London by beating Brazil 2-1 in the final, when stars Neymar and Hulk played.


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