Özil plays mostly as an attacking midfielder, but can also be deployed as a winger. He began his senior career as a member of his hometown club Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga, departing two seasons later to join Werder Bremen for €5 million. He garnered break-out attention at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, where at age 22, Özil was instrumental in the side's campaign where they reached the semi-finals, losing to eventual champions Spain. He was also nominated for the Golden Ball Award, as well as being ranked first in assists in major European and domestic competitions, with 25. This garnered him a €15 million transfer to La Liga club Real Madrid.