If Mesut Ozil features versus Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday after his classy return to fitness with two goals in the weekend win over Norwich City, Arsenal's new star will be making the 13th appearance in his career against the German giants.
The playmaker has a mixed record in his previous dozen encounters with Dortmund from his spells with former clubs Schalke, who are bitter derby rivals, Werder Bremen and Real Madrid.
And as Arsenal go in search of a Matchday Three win over Dortmund which would see them take a giant step towards qualifying from Group F, here, we remember Ozil's past encounters with last season's Champions League runners-up.
Having joined Schalke's youth ranks after gaining his player licence in Gelsenkirchen following spells with various clubs in the district, Ozil faced Dortmund for the first time in the intensity of the Ruhr derby in the penultimate game of the 2006/07 Bundesliga season. He was a starter on the losing side at Dortmund Stadium in a feisty contest which ended in a 2-0 win for the home team. Ozil was substituted in the 79th minute in between Dortmund's goals from Alexander Frei and Ebi Smolarek. But Schalke were the happy club that season as they finished as Bundesliga runners-up to Stuttgart.
The past connection with Schalke means Ozil is guaranteed a fierce reception from Dortmund's travelling fans on Tuesday but he will have fond memories of being on the winning team in just the second game of the 2007/08 Bundesliga. That match saw Schalke claim a glorious 4-1 win over their old rivals with goals from Marcelo Jose Bordon, Christian Pander, Gerald Asamoah and Kevin Kuranyi at Veltins Arena. Ozil was only an 82nd minute substitute in the game but could still relish the victory.
A reported fall out with Schalke's management led Ozil to move to Werder Bremen in the January transfer window of 2008. That meant he faced Dortmund as a Bremen player in the Bundesliga match that March. Ozil started the game, stepping into the playmaking boots of Diego, and helped Bremen to a 2-0 home win, with Markus Rosenberg scoring both goals.
The 2008/09 season was a positive campaign for Bremen and they lifted the German Cup, thanks to Ozil's winning goal in the final, while also finishing as UEFA Cup runners-up. Ozil played the full match of a dramatic 3-3 draw against Dortmund in the Bundesliga in the October of that season, with all the goals coming in the second half and both Bremen and Dortmund scoring in injury time at Weserstadion.
En route to winning the German Cup, Ozil also played the entire game as Bremen knocked out Dortmund with a 2-1 win at Dortmund Stadium in the last 16. Later in that same season, though, Ozil would suffer his first Dortmund defeat as a Bremen player in a 1-0 away loss in the Bundesliga courtesy of Frei's second-half penalty.
In the 2009/10 season, Ozil scored his first goal against Dortmund in the Bundesliga encounter in the November of that campaign. He gave Bremen a first-half lead at Weserstadion with a left-footed shot from the right side of the penalty area before Lucas Barrios' 54th minute equaliser. However, Dortmund had their revenge in the reverse fixture when they picked up a 2-1 win towards the end of the campaign, with Ozil playing the full 90 minutes of that game.
After starring at the 2010 World Cup, including being an inspiration as Germany knocked out England, Ozil secured a summer move to Real Madrid. That of course meant he no longer faced Dortmund in domestic competition but he was involved in every minute when Real faced the Bundesliga giants four times in last season's Champions League.
In the group stages, Real lost 2-1 in Germany last October but Ozil was on target with an 89th minute free-kick when Dortmund were held to a 2-2 draw at the Bernabeu in the second match. In the competition's semi-finals, Ozil would suffer mass disappointment at the hands of Dortmund as Real fell to a 4-3 aggregate defeat.
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