Mesut Ozil, a former Arsenal and Germany star, has spoken out about his decision to join Real Madrid over Barcelona at the height of his powers..
When the playmaker decided to leave Werder Bremen in 2010, he had two options. He could join Barcelona, which won the Champions League in 2009 and is managed by Pep Guardiola, or he could join Real Madrid, which is managed by Jose Mourinho after the Portuguese’s heroics with Inter Milan.
Finally, Ozil chose the Spanish capital’s team, spending three years in Madrid before joining Arsenal. The Gelsenkirchen native retired this week at the age of 34, and he has spoken out about the life-changing decision he made more than a decade ago..
Real Madrid and Barcelona made that decision. And, in the end, it wasn’t about money “Ozil informed Marca. “I’m not sure if this is widely known, but when I visited Madrid and Barcelona at the time, the difference was José Mourinho.
“Mou treated me to a VIP tour of Real Madrid. He took me to the stadium and showed me all of the trophies they had won. That made me shiver. The visit to Barcelona was less enthusiastic, and even more disappointing was the fact that Pep Guardiola did not bother to meet with me.
“Prior to that trip, I really liked Barcelona’s style of play and could see myself playing with them, but Madrid went all out.
So, without a doubt, José Mourinho was the most important factor in my decision. My decision was crystal clear after my visits: I wanted to be a Madridista.”
Ozil played more than 150 times for Real Madrid, but he only won one league title and never advanced beyond the Champions League semi-finals. The former Schalke player joined Arsenal in 2013, not long after Mourinho left the Bernabeu, and spent nearly a decade in London before retiring in Turkey.
“Good day, everyone.” “I’m announcing my immediate retirement from professional football after careful consideration,” Ozil said in a statement.
I’ve had the honor of playing professional football for almost 17 years now, and I’m eternally grateful for the opportunity. But, after suffering some injuries in recent weeks and months, it’s become increasingly clear that it’s time to exit the big stage of football.
It’s been an incredible journey full of unforgettable moments and emotions. I’d like to thank my clubs – Schalke 04, Werder Bremen, Real Madrid, Arsenal FC, Fenerbahce, Basaksehir, and the coaches who helped me, as well as teammates who have become friends – for their support..
“My family and closest friends deserve special recognition. They have been a part of my journey since the beginning and have shown me so much love and support in both good and bad times. Thank you to all of my fans who have shown me so much love regardless of the circumstances or the club I was representing.
“Now I’m looking forward to everything that awaits me with my beautiful wife, Amine, and my two beautiful daughters, Eda and Ela – but you can be sure that you’ll hear from me on my social media channels from time to time. I’ll see you soon, Mesut