Mesut Ozil admits he has “never seen a person like” Cristiano Ronaldo, with the Arsenal star crediting his former Real Madrid team-mate with making him a better player.
The pair spent three years together at the Santiago Bernabeu, with La Liga and Copa del Rey glory savoured during their period.
Ozil proved to be a regular source of assists for Ronaldo, with a standing secured as one of the finest playmakers in world football before the German headed for England in 2013.
The 29-year-old is now a World Cup winner, while his former colleague is a five-time Ballon d’Or winner embarking on a new challenge at Serie A champions Juventus.
Ozil still considers Ronaldo to be the finest player on the planet, telling Arsenal’s official website of his time working with a modern day icon: “Another thing people always ask me about is what it was like to play with Cristiano Ronaldo and all I can say is that I’ve never seen a person like him.
“He works really hard and is the first guy to get into the training ground, then the last one to leave.
“He’s very professional and always wants to win, even in the training games. Of course I was looking at what he was doing, even something as simple as just looking at his shooting technique.
“I really enjoyed playing with him because he made me better on the pitch and he’s a great guy off it, too. I gave him loads of assists and he doesn’t need me to remind him of that!
“It was easy to play with him because you didn’t need to create a lot of chances. Even if I just gave him two passes, he would score two goals and that’s why he’s one of the greatest footballers who’s ever lived.”
Ronaldo was reported to have been left “angry” by Real’s decision to part with Ozil, telling Portuguese colleagues that the German was “the player who best knew my moves in front of goal”.
He fared admirably enough without a regular source of assists in Madrid, but could do with someone to help him out in Turin as he continues to wait on his first goal for Juventus.
Another opportunity to break that duck is set to present itself on Sunday against Sassuolo.