Ozil: Germany want to win for Low

Germany playmaker Mesut Ozil has credited coach Joachim Low for developing the country into a force in world football.

Low's men are one of the favourites to win the FIFA World Cup, which gets underway on Thursday when host nation Brazil face Croatia.

Germany must first navigate their way out of a tough Group G, which also contains Portugal, Ghana and the United States.

Should Germany go on to win a fourth World Cup, Arsenal star Ozil said it would be just reward for Low - who guided Germany to third place in South Africa four years ago.

The 54-year-old also led the country to a runners-up finish at UEFA Euro 2008 and a semi-final berth in the same tournament four years later.

"He's introduced a totally new German national team - one that is really respected all over the world," Ozil told Arsenal's official website of Low, who succeeded Jurgen Klinsmann after the 2006 World Cup.

"(Joachim Low) is one of the best in the world and we're happy to have him around the team.

"I hope he will finally be rewarded because in the past we've lost in the semi-finals or final and to lose when you are so close is always sad.

"I hope that he can hold the World Cup in his hands and say 'we've won this as a team' because he really deserves that."

Germany kick-off their World Cup campaign against Portugal on Monday and speaking ahead of their opener, Ozil claimed opponents now feared playing his nation.

"Wherever we go, I think opponents are reluctant to play us because we are very strong," he added.

"If you look at the German team over the last couple of years, you can see that we have continuously played excellent football.

"In the past, the national team was seen as being strong and now the whole world knows that we belong among the most technically-gifted sides in the world.

"That we always qualify early shows the quality we have in the team and shows that we have a great manager in our ranks who has strengthened the team and has developed something new."