Mesut Ozil admits he cried after leaving Real Madrid to join Arsenal in 2013
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‘When the plane took off, I started to cry’: Mesut Ozil opens up on sadness he felt leaving Real Madrid for Arsenal back in 2013… and reveals ‘disappointment’ Pep Guardiola didn’t even BOTHER to meet with him when Barcelona chased his signature
- Ozil departed Real Madrid to join Arsenal in 2013 and cried on the way to London
- The midfielder visited Barcelona but Guardiola ‘didn’t bother’ to meet with him
Mesut Ozil has revealed that he ‘started to cry’ after boarding a plane to leave Real Madrid to complete a transfer to Arsenal – and claimed Pep Guardiola ‘didn’t bother’ to meet him to discuss a move to Barcelona.
The former Germany international, 34, announced his retirement from professional football two days ago, stating that ‘it’s time to leave the big stage’.
Ozil this week sat down with Spanish news outlet Marca to discuss his time with Real Madrid in La Liga.
When asked about his departure from Spanish giants to join Arsenal, 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.’
Mesut Ozil admitted that he ‘started to cry’ when his plane took off to leave for Real Madrid
The now retired Turkish star left Madrid to sign for Arsenal for £42.4million back in 2013
However, before joining Los Blancos, Ozil had an opportunity to move to Barcelona after visiting their training ground.
Ozil revealed that Guardiola, then the manager of Barcelona, did not meet him during his visit, while Real Madrid and Jose Mourinho ‘went all out’ to land his signature.
‘The visit in Barcelona was less enthusiastic and what was more disappointing is that Pep Guardiola didn’t bother to meet me,’ he said. ‘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.’
The 34-year-old went on to discuss his reasoning for leaving Madrid just three years later to join Arsenal and admitted that he would have ‘handled the situation at that time differently’ if he could change it.
‘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 said that Jose Mourinho was ‘the most important factor’ in his decision to join Real Madrid
Pep Guardiola ‘didn’t even bother’ to meet Ozil during his visit to Barcelona, the player claims
Ozil instead joined Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid, where he would compete with Barcelona
Ozil also discussed his time at Arsenal, highlighting his joy playing under Arsene Wenger before ‘many things changed’ following Wenger’s departure.
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.’
Ozul ‘would be happy’ if Arsenal won the Premier league this season as the fans ‘deserve it’
The German finalised by revealing that he is supporting Arsenal in the Premier League title race and hopes Mikel Arteta’s side can lift the trophy for the fans.
‘Now I am relaxed and I wish the best to the Arsenal fans, who have always been very supportive of me,’ he said.
‘I would be happy for them if they could celebrate the Premier League title. They deserve it!’
It remains to be seen as to what the future holds for Ozil after his retirement, with Istanbul Basaksehir being the last club in his professional career after only making four appearances for the Turkish side.