Germany Vs. England FIFA World Cup 2010: Three Lions Must Stop Mesut Ozil

Shree Ganesh RajendranContributor IIJune 26, 2010

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 25:  Mesut Oezil of Germany controls the ball during training session at Super stadium on June 25, 2010 in Pretoria, South Africa.  (Photo by Joern Pollex/Getty Images)
Joern Pollex/Getty Images

In what should be the match that leaves us drooling in excitement, three-time world champions Germany take on a less-than-convincing England side in the Round of 16 clash in this edition of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

As legendary former German greats Franz Beckenbauer and Jurgen Klinsmann said, this should be a semifinal or a final match rather than a second-round fixture.

However, this is the reality as Fabio Capello's England finished as runners-up in Group C, just losing out on goals scored to the USA while Germany did what was expected from them and finished as Group D winners.

Now, let's get to the point of this article—the amazing Ozil. Mesut Ozil, who was born in Germany to Turkish parents, has been one of the shining stars in this World Cup.

Having only made less than 15 appearances for the senior side, Ozil was heavily entrusted by national boss Joachim Low after being the architect for Germany in the 2009 Under-21 European Championships to lead the German midfield.

Ironically, they faced England in the final and thrashed them 4-0, with Ozil grabbing one of the goals and being the catalyst in that win.

Since that impressive win, the likes of Holger Badstubber and Thomas Muller have also been regulars for Low's Germany in this Finals.

It was this young boy, however, who made sure that injured captain Ballack would not be missed by forming a great understanding in midfield with Sami Khedira and Bastian Scheweinsteiger.

In their opening game against Australia, Ozil put himself under the spotlight with an impressive showing, and could have easily gotten a brace, but he redeemed himself by setting up Cacau's goal, and was in one way or another involved in the other goals as well, in the resounding 4-0 win.

Serbia managed to tame him by stiffing their midfield, and therefore not allowing the Werder Bremen star to do what he does best—dribble past defenders and score or set up goals.

The 21-year-old then got the Man of the Match award for his terrific display against Ghana, in which he scored a superb left-footed volley from outside the penalty box for what turned out to be the winner that ensured Die Mannschaft the top spot in Group D.

After that display, he has widely been recognised as the "German Messi." Flair has surely been something that has been missing in Germany's way of play for some years now, and with Ozil in the frame, the future looks good for German football.

I'm sure that England has been aware of this wonderkid, and Don Capello might already have something under his belt to stop this young gun. Maybe just reviewing the Serbia-Germany game might do the Three Lions good.

But the real question is, will England adopt a defensive game plan and go for the counter or just play the way they did against Slovenia? I have a strong feeling that they will go for the latter.

Gareth Barry might be the key player for England, as he would be assigned to guard Ozil, Podolski and company. So, their fate is very much in the Manchester City-man's hands, as if they can stop Ozil, they are actually stopping Germany.

Just don't allow him any space and time and a quarterfinal date against Argentina could be on the cards for the Three Lions.

As a Germany fan, however, that would be the worst-case scenario, as I'm eager to see  Ozil blossom into a truly world-class player in the same bracket as Messi, Ronaldo, and Kaka. And what better chance to do it than now.