Arsenal midfield star Mesut Ozil has expressed his delight at him being seen as a role model to the next generation of German footballers.
The Gunner, who sealed a move from Santiago Bernabeu to the Emirates back in 2013, is convinced the multicultural setup in the Germany national team is a great example of how far they've gone, in terms of integrating people from different backgrounds and way of life.
“I’m very proud but our task is to play football,” he told Arsenal Player. “Integration is a difficult topic. The best example is the German national team because lots of people from other cultures come together and play with respect. That’s how it should be in general life.
“You should be open with one another, you should treat each other with respect. If that happened, things would look different, also in general.
“I’m the sort of person who can integrate quickly,” Ozil continued. “I’m a normal person and people who know me know that I’m quite quiet and just like doing my thing. That was the case here, with the German national team and in my youth.
“For example, when I experienced things changing, like if I changed class at school, it wasn’t the case that I would worry about how I would cope not knowing anyone, it was the opposite. I was and still am very open when I meet people.
“It was like that at Arsenal too. When I joined the club, I knew some players from playing alongside them in the national team or at Werder Bremen. But in general, I enjoy being able to meet new people and experience new cultures.
“I lived in Spain and got to know the wonderful culture and people there. Now I’m in England, where I’m learning the language and the culture.
“I love what I do and I’m thankful that football helps me develop myself by learning new languages and different cultures. I’m proud of that.”