Mesut Ozil reckons Germany must justify their status as one of the favourites to win UEFA EURO 2012 by beating France in tomorrow's friendly. The 23-year-old was his nation's player of the year for 2011, but has always said the main prize that interests him is lifting the continental trophy in Kiev on 1 July.
"We have the potential to beat anyone and we have what it takes to win the title," he said. "We are looking forward to the game. They are one of the best teams in the world and among the favourites for the title. It's a big challenge for us."
France were drawn in Group D alongside Sweden, England and co-hosts Ukraine, while Germany have been drawn in Group B, where they will face the Netherlands and Denmark after starting their campaign against Portugal.
Ozil faces Portugal stars Cristiano Ronaldo, Fabio Coentrao and Pepe every day in training for Real Madrid, and says that they all intend to return from the EURO with a winner's medal.
"They know how strong the German national team is," said Ozil. "The boys say they want to win, but I have already told them that Germany want to finish as undefeated group winners and European champions."
Maturing under Mourinho
Ozil left Werder Bremen in August 2010 and after 18 months at Real Madrid, he is maturing into one of Europe's best attacking midfielders under Jose Mourinho.
"I am glad that I can play for the biggest club in the world," he said. "I have matured a lot in Madrid.
"Things have been made easy for me. [Mourinho] talks to me a lot and the suppport he gives me is important. It gives me lots of confidence to be one of the most important players in the team."