Zico: 'Ozil the brain of German team'


Ozil, who has quickly settled at new club Arsenal, scored and set up a goal in Die Mannschaft's thrilling 5-3 come-from-behind win over Sweden in a World Cup qualifier on Tuesday night.

The 23-year-old also shone in his country's 3-0 victory against Republic of Ireland that sealed entry to next year's showpiece.

"Ozil is a great player. He's the brain of the German national team," Zico was quoted as saying by Sport Bild.

"I already get excited just by seeing him play. He has the ability to read the game and play a killer pass.

"Germany have not had a playmaker like him since Wolfgang Overath in the 1970s. It would only be right if he were among the candidates to win the Ballon d'Or."

Zico then discussed Germany's World Cup prospects.

"Germany are a great team with the potential to win the World Cup, but I don't think they will win it," he said.

"History is against them. A European team has never won the World Cup in South America."

The 60-year-old Zico scored 48 goals in 71 appearances for the Samba Boys in a playing career that ran from 1971 to 1994.

Ballon d'Or holder Lionel Messi, Franck Ribery and Cristiano Ronaldo are competing for Fifa's top individual prize.