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Gunning for Greatness: My Life: With an introduction by Jose Mourinho

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  250 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Shortlisted for International Autobiography at the British Sports Book Awards

Mesut Ozil is a midfield magician, casting an elegant spell over opponents and conjuring passes through gaps lesser mortals can't even see. After an eventful sojourn among the Galacticos of Real Madrid he has savoured silverware at Arsenal, while in 2014 he lifted the World Cup with Germany.

Hardcover, 336 pages
Published March 13th 2018 by Hodder & Stoughton
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Am I biased? Probably. Was the book a great fun to read? Absolutely. I loved every second of it, I was smiling practically non-stop. As a fan, I'm so happy (no pun intended) to see how much he matured both as a player and as a person. (And from the point of view of a language nerd - it was really interesting to observe how much living in England influenced his German.)
Samsia Sifat
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have been a fan of Mesut since his 2010 World Cup stint so I might sound biased but I tried my best to be objective here. But he was just so honest about his struggles, family problems, coach problems, failures and ambitions that I have to gush about him first- I have become a bigger fan now.

Keeping aside my infatuation, the book takes the reader on Mesut's journey from being a nobody to the stardom he was enjoying now. His style and content of writing seemed like an open letter to his
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Entertaining read. Unexpectedly open from such a usually reserved person. Not my favorite footballing book but he is one of my favorite players, haha.
I refuse to give this book a rating because it's an autobiography and who am I to rate someone else's life? And Mesut Özil's life at that!

I listened to the audiobook which was basically one very long interview (4 hours and 55 minutes to be precise) and I loved that they did that. Of course, that means I didn't really "read" the book as it was written but I quite enjoyed listening to Mesut recounting his life and career. It gave the entire thing a more personal feel than I think a simple reading
Vados Elmee
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sophisticated life questions in simple words from an introvert young man with a genius football mind and big heart, who went through various environments and knows a price and real value of everything.
Yerkhanat Khuanbai
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
#3rd book of 2020, As an Arsenal fan, I am a big fan of Ozil since he joined Arsenal side in 2013. I clearly remember that the day his transfer was done just before last minutes of transfer window, I really amazed and was over the moon. Now it's been 7 years since he joined Arsenal, still expecting from him great assists that can help us win trophies. I grabbed his autobiography yesterday and finished it only 2 days, because it was really interesting get to know him from his early childhood to ...more
Adam Olsen
Apr 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A fun look into the world of a fantastic footballer and humble man. An open and honest account of his life and movement through various clubs.
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This isn't the sort of book I tend to read, however I'm glad I did.

Read it, there's a lot to be gained from this book; it's very easy to read and get lost in and what a remarkable journey he's undertaken. Mesut deserves his success.
radhika morabia
May 29, 2017 rated it did not like it
Good job on using YouTube, ghostwriter. Still doesn't cover up how whiny Mesut constantly is.
Özlem Güzelharcan
I just love this man. And kudos to the ghost writer. It was an exciting read.
Ashley Day
Nov 27, 2019 rated it did not like it
I have always defended Ozil and always claimed he is misunderstood, his body language looks lazy but it's his style of play. His running stats prove he does try hard, his passing figures are exceptional and he gets a lot of unfair critism and players like him should be celebrated they are why we watch football. That all being said this book has made me dislike a player I considered my favourite player since he joined Arsenal for a few reasons. I think he looks very greedy he had issues at ...more
Jesus Gonzalez
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Gunning For Greatness By Mesut Ozil: Gunning For Greatness, a autobiography of a young starting professional soccer player that goes by the name of Mesut Ozil. Mesut always found himself in a lot mischief, and having to sacrifice a lot of things like friendships, and clubs “teams”. In my opinion, some of the main ideas that were stated in the book were about Ozil’s adjustment to becoming a professional soccer player at a young age.
After reading Gunning For Greatness I found myself being more
Hans Larson
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is a great book written by professional soccer player Mesut Ozil. In this autobiography, Mesut Ozil details his life and success as a professional soccer player, but he also details his struggles growing up as a Turkish boy in Germany, and how that made his soccer career more difficult. Because of his Turkish roots, he has faced and extreme amount of criticism from some German soccer fans, who say that because he is part Turkish he can't give 100% for the German national team. He ...more
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
I read this book because I’m interested in Mesut Özil and German football (soccer) in general. I found the story itself to be interesting and enjoyable, but the translator who translated this book from the original German to English did an awful job. Horrible. The translation of the intent of the writing was fine, but the English grammar was the worst I’ve ever read. If I had a dollar for every sentence fragment in this book, I could probably purchase the publisher and make sure it doesn’t ...more
Christie Scheer
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: sports fans
A great insight into the life of one of the world's best footballers, this book takes you on the full journey of Mesut Ozil's rise to fame. Even as a young boy, Ozil was faced with difficult decisions. One of the most powerful chapters speaks to his decision to turn in his Turkish passport and move to Germany. He was faced with criticism at such a young age that he is much more used to it in present day. Along the way he played alongside other incredible athletes and worked under amazing ...more
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a professional footballer or someone in the limelight? Me too. When I saw Mesut Özil post an ad for his autobiography, Die Magie des Spiels (or Gunning for Greatness in English), I knew I had to read the book. When the opportunity came in my English class, I knew that this would be the most fitting book. As I read the book, I found Özil to be more relatable than before.

Özil’s story is of a poor child born to Turkish immigrants in Germany, who overcame
Shoaib  Raza
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very readable. I decided to read this after reading Özil’s statement announcing his ‘retirement’ from the German national side due to discrimination. The book includes a lot about his efforts to try reconcile his Turkish and German heritage - issues that millions of Europeans contend with.

Özil is a complex genius. He’s clearly more sensitive than the average footballer. This makes for a fascinating read. #YaGunnersYa
Marty Greenwell
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good view of a kid growing up in Germany of Turkish ancestry, who doesn't learn the language until later. A bit arrogant but an ego is required for a soccer superstar. I liked his behind the scenes descriptions of how German football is different than the pretty finesse game of Spain (Real Madrid) and the physicality of the English Premier League and the descriptions of his two very famous coaches.
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ozil has been one of my favorite players. However, after reading the book, and reading through his struggles, my respect for him has also increased.

There are many things you can understand from the book.

1) Success has no short cut.
2) Importance of making right decision and by consulting your family and loved ones.
3) Believing in yourself is more important then fulfilling other people perception.
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really liked how I was able to connect to the story. It wasn't just a story about parties, drugs, money, and the superstar life. The book was deeper, you got to feel the struggle. Mesut Ozil's started living on his own when he was about 18 and he share how he was scared because he was on his own. I would give it a 5/5, it was really good especially for an autobiography.
Aug 25, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: football
Read it yesterday in one of those read-in-one-day circumstances. Definitely the worst autobiography I've ever read. Even bad books usually contribute to something. This, just falls flat down into nothingness. Forgotten in time.

There is nothing that could be said about an interesting content. The script contains the usual content: child hood, managers, players and back room politics. But beyond that, not a hunch of inspiration was found that day when he decided to write this. There is no ups or
Shubham Goel
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Though it moves between various topics abruptly, there's a lot of value in the personal experiences Mesut shares in this book, ranging from dressing room shenanigans, heated transfer negotiations, his roots in Turkey, and his time at Arsenal.
Adam Wollman
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great book that includes a lot of details about a pro footballers career.
Samiran Tripathi
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm a fan of Mesut ever since I saw him in the 2010 WC and when he was signed by Arsenal I became an even bigger supporter of him. This book has been a great revelation about Mesut's character.
Dennis Sherchan
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What can u expect from a world class footballer. Amazing autobiography. Love u mesut
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
A good look into the world of a world class footballer and humble person, who usually isn't one to talk a lot. Great to hear an open and honest view of his life at different clubs in the world.
Ali Lansah
Dec 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Can't believe a player as reserved as Mesut went through all that in the earlier parts of his career. Football like any professional career, I'm beginning to realise entails more than meets the eye. My respect and admiration for Mesut only amplified with each chapter covered. Mesut Özil remains one of my favourites of all time. Good read, this one.
Layan Kasaji
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely interesting. For me, because I love watching soccer, I loved the book. It even talks about my favorite club, Real Madrid, and my favorite soccer national team, Germany. The book gives you a detailed image of soccer behind the scenes. Ozil tells us about how he started playing football, the challenges most of the players face, what happens in the dressing room, and the relationships between players and managers. Also, Ozil provides you with information and names (so there is no way ...more
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Reading it during the fallout of 2018 wc gave me too strong and too much mixed feelings. The English translation is a bit rough but I’m surprised at his candor, especially knowing how introvert and awkward-with-word he usually is. Having said that, there really is no word to describe how I feel about the story he told in the book knowing what would await him this year. In particular the epilogue. It’s a slam on reality. A slam that is too harsh I dare not look at.
Dec 16, 2018 added it
Actual rating: 3.5 stars.

I enjoyed finding out more about Özil's life, and seeing some of his career and achievements from his perspective.
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