By Mac Izu Nelson
Today’s Hara-Kiri takes a look at two of the best creators in the modern game.
Who would come out on top?
When in 2003, Francesc left the La masia youth team for Arsenal, he left because he was after greener pastures.
Arsenal were romping to the title, having a fabulous season and the teenager must have felt like he had just gone from frying pan to hot coals.
But as with all fairy tales, his opportunity came.
He made his debut in October of 2013 against Rotherham United, and became Arsenal’s youngest ever first team player.
He was in the invincibles squad but wasn’t awarded a medal because he didn’t play a single game.
Anyway, putting history aside, remember the lithe, bamboozling Fabregas who terrorised premier league defenders from 2006-2010?
That’s the Francesc we all remember to love.
Something changed in Fabregas at Barcelona…the fire.
In that time he won the world cup and the euros, became Arsenal’s captain and scored 35 goals in 212 appearances for the gunners.
Not bad at all for an attacking midfielder but it was his assists which caught the eye.
All of that innate drive and resilience which characterized him pre his Barcelona move, seemed to die after a while with Barca.
His contribution in matches waned terribly and in time, he was considered surplus to requirements.
Maybe it was being deployed out of position, or being around so many good players, but Fabregas quickly turned from lion to cat and was sold to Chelsea.
So far this season, Fabregas has made 26 appearances in all competitions, scoring on 4 occasions.
He has also directly assisted a goal 7 times, with a pass success rate of 86.6
But has he outperformed Ozil?
Aged 28, Mesut has developed into a fine player for both club and country.
He began his career at Shalke, where he plied his trade between 2006-2008. He was then snapped up by
Werder Bremen and would later go on to impress so much that in August 2010, Madrid came calling.
His exploits in the World Cup( a nomination for the Golden Ball) put him on the radar and in the end, Madrid signed him as is expected.
In 2010–11, Ozil ranked first in assists in major European and domestic competitions with 25. In 2011–12, he ranked first in assists in La Liga with 17.
Today, Ozil plays for Arsenal.
One criticism of his play is that for all his flair, there is a lack of passion about him.
Ozil is devoid of the hunger which normally typifies great players which is why even though Fabregas might be past his prime, he remains better than Ozil.
Yes, Ozil has become more mature in front of goal but there is more to football than momentary glimpses of brilliance.
And this is who Ozil has become; a player whose flashes of genius are few and far between.
This season, Fabregas has been the hungrier of the two and the more eager to prove a point.