Beating England in the World Cup final in Russia would be the dream scenario for Germany star Mesut Ozil.
The Arsenal ace was part of the Germany side that secured glory in Brazil four years ago and is now looking for his nation to become the first European side to defend their crown since Italy in 1938.
Joachim Low’s side begin their campaign in Russia against Mexico on Sunday but Ozil is already casting an eye towards the latter stages of the competition, where he would love to inflict heartbreak on England in Moscow.
“We are the current world champions. We have to try to repeat that, to get to the final and to fight for everything. That’s what German fans demand of us,” he told The Evening Standard.
“But, personally, my dream is to play England in the final and beat them without even the need for extra time.”
While England fans may be pessimistic about their chances of glory, having not seen the Three Lions win a World Cup knockout match since 2006, Ozil believes Gareth Southgate’s side are contenders.
“The way I see it, England are there. They reached this World Cup with fewer problems to qualify than most other teams and that has given them time to prepare,” the Arsenal star added.
“They are going to be in the final stages of this World Cup, that’s what I expect.
“They are one of the teams that can make it hard for us. We are the current world champions and repeating the world title would be a great milestone for Germany.”
The earliest Germany could meet England in the competition is in the quarter-final stage, depending on the final group standings.
“I see a lot of teams who will believe they can win. Brazil and Argentina, for a start, but I don’t rule out teams like England, Spain or Portugal,” Ozil claimed.
“Everyone is training and preparing to go right to the end and there is always a team who spring a surprise and go further than you think. Perhaps this time it will be Belgium.”