BERLIN, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Germany midfielder Mesut Ozil, who is of Turkish descent, said he would have no room for emotion when his team play Turkey in a Euro 2012 qualifier on Friday.
At least 35,000 Turkish fans are expected in Berlin’s Olympic stadium, but the 21-year-old Ozil, who only last year opted to play for Germany instead of Turkey, said he felt no extra pressure.
“Of course this is a very special game for me as I play against my friends,” the Real Madrid midfielder told reporters on Wednesday. “But I also want to win it.”
Berlin was chosen as a location for the game due to its large Turkish community and organisers had to set up the biggest media tribune for a Germany match because of the huge media interest.
The two sides are level in Group A on six points, with two wins from their opening matches.
“I look forward to it but the aim is to win this great game and take a step further in qualifiers. If I score a goal against Turkey I will react spontaneously,” said Ozil, who was part of Germany’s World Cup squad which included 11 of 23 players with a non-German ethnic background.
Germany finished third in this year’s tournament in South Africa, earning praise for their fast and exciting style of play.
“My family comes from Turkey and I have friends who call me up and support me. But I am third generation (Turk) and I was born here in Germany,” Ozil said softly.
“For me there was no other country in question and it was never an issue for me. I am proud to be playing for Germany,” he said, adding that he would not sing the national anthem.
“When the anthem is playing I always focus on the game ahead.”
Writing by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Ed Osmond; To query or comment on this story: firstname.lastname@example.org