Football: I can score more goals by being 'selfish' but team is more important, says Ozil

Mesut Ozil (left) controlling the ball during the match between Arsenal and Liverpool on Aug 24, 2015.
Mesut Ozil (left) controlling the ball during the match between Arsenal and Liverpool on Aug 24, 2015.PHOTO: AFP

Reuters - Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil says he can score more goals by being "a bit more selfish" but will continue to put the team ahead of any personal glory.

Ozil joined the Gunners two seasons ago for a club record fee of £42.5 million pounds (S$91 million), making him the most expensive German player in football history.

The World Cup winner has since scored nine goals to go with 17 assists in 51 Premier League appearances for Arsenal. "I want to score more goals than in the last two seasons and that's my aim for this season," the 26-year-old, who was challenged by manager Arsene Wenger to score more than 10 goals this campaign, told the club website.

"I think now and then I need to become a bit more selfish - then I'd definitely score more goals. But I'm a player who thinks (of) the team first and not for my own needs and that's why I will carry on to play the way I always do.

"I think that's one of my distinguishing characteristics," the former Real Madrid midfielder added.

For Ozil, renowned for his ability to play defence-splitting passes, team success is much more important.

"For me, it's not just goals and assists that mean everything, what's more important is that we're successful as a team," said the player, who was named in the Uefa Euro 2012 Team of the Tournament.

"My aim is to help the team and I'll do all I can to achieve that. In truth I'm more the sort of player who doesn't really go for goal, I tend to look for my team-mates and think, 'Can I play this pass?'," he added.

Currently ninth in the league with four points from three games, Arsenal travel to St James' Park to face Newcastle United on Saturday, with Ozil eyeing his first goal of the season.