Mesut Ozil reveals he ‘started to cry’ when he left for Arsenal but ‘refuses to add fuel to fire’

·3-min read
Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil celebrates scoring a goal Credit: Alamy
Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil celebrates scoring a goal Credit: Alamy

Mesut Ozil has revealed that he “started to cry” when he left Real Madrid for Arsenal, but refused to “add fuel to the fire” when asked about his time with the Gunners after Arsene Wenger.

Ozil announced his retirement earlier this week and sat down with Marca to discuss his time with Real Madrid and Arsenal.

When asked about his departure from Madrid, Ozil revealed: “I was very sad when I left Madrid. I remember that at the airport.

“When the plane in which I was leaving Madrid took off, I started to cry.”

Before joining Madrid, Ozil visited the Barcelona training ground for talks but opted against joining the Catalans as Pep Guardiola showed no interest while Jose Mourinho “went all out” to land him.

However, before joining Los Blancos, Ozil had an opportunity to move to Barcelona after visiting their training ground.

“The visit in Barcelona was less enthusiastic and what was more disappointing is that Pep Guardiola didn’t bother to meet me. Before that trip I really liked Barcelona’s style of football and I could really imagine playing with them, but Madrid went all out.

“So Jose Mourinho was without a doubt the most important factor in my decision. After my visits, my decision was one hundred percent clear: I wanted to be a Madridista.”

Ozil went on to reveal the circumstances that led to his exit from Madrid.

“I was really happy (at Madrid). But things happened,” he said. “Suddenly, at the beginning of that season, I no longer had many playing minutes and a conflict arose between Mr. Florentino Perez and my father and agent.

“We had to look for a new club. It was hard for me. The moment the plane took off, tears fell from my eyes. That was the moment I realised it was over.

“At that time it seemed good to me, because after the conflict between my father and Mr. Perez I was worried that I would not have playing minutes again if I did not leave. So it’s hard to say. But of course, I wish we could have handled the situation at that time differently.”

Ozil then explained how much he enjoyed playing under Wenger at the Emirates before “many things changed”.

He said: “The first years were very good. We played in the Champions League, we had a great team with great players and an incredible coach like Arsene Wenger.

“He was a true gentleman. He was always very respectful. When he left the club, something was missing. We had a great relationship and I feel privileged that he was my manager at Arsenal.

“After he left the club, many things changed for me. But I have no interest in adding fuel to the fire again.

“Now I am relaxed and I wish the best to the Arsenal fans, who have always been very supportive of me.

“I would be happy for them if they could celebrate the Premier League title. They deserve it!”

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