Michael Ballack surprised by Mesut Ozil criticism

Former Germany midfielder Michael Ballack admits that he has been surprised by the recent criticism of Mesut Ozil.

Former Germany midfielder Michael Ballack has revealed that he is surprised by the recent criticism of Mesut Ozil.

Ozil has come under pressure for his performances for both Arsenal and Germany during the past few weeks, but Ballack believes that the playmaker is due an impressive display at the World Cup.

"I am surprised by the critical views on Mesut Ozil," he told Express. "For me, he is and he remains an extraordinary player.

"Yes, he has not had a overwhelmingly good match at the World Cup until now but he did not disappoint me either. He needs a magic moment, he must force this moment to happen."

Germany play their final group fixture at the World Cup on Thursday when they meet the USA in Recife.

Germany's midfielder Mesut Ozil celebrates scoring his side's 3rd goal during the FIFA 2014 World Cup Group C qualifying football match Germany vs Republic of Ireland in Cologne, western Germany on October 11, 2013
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