REAL TRUTH MESUT OZIL has revealed that a “disappointing” experience with Pep Guardiola led to him snubbing Barcelona in favour of Real Madrid.
The former Arsenal winger announced he is hanging up his boots at the age of 34 on Thursday.
Mesut Ozil has blamed Pep Guardiola for him snubbing Barcelona back in 2010
He says Jose Mourinho went all out to get him to sign for Real Madrid
Ozil decided to call time on his career midway through Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir’s season.
He thanked all of the clubs he played for, including the Gunners and Real Madrid, but admitted that injuries in recent months had taken their toll.
Ozil’s retirement brings to an end a career stacked with trophies, with the playmaker once regarded as the best No10 in world football.
Bursting onto the scene with Schalke in 2006, Ozil became a certified Bundesliga star when he joined Werder Bremen in 2008.
But it was his epic performances for Germany at the 2010 World Cup which secured a £13million move to Real Madrid that same summer.
However, it could all have been very different if the then Barcelona manager Guardiola had made a bit more effort to meet him.
Speaking to Marca about his exit from Werder Bremen, he revealed: “That was a decision between Real Madrid and Barcelona. And in the end it was not a matter of money.
“I don’t know if this is known, but I visited Madrid and Barcelona at that time and the difference was Jose Mourinho.
“Mou gave me a VIP visit to Real Madrid. He took me to see the stadium and all the trophies they had won. That gave me goosebumps.
“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 won the LaLiga crown and the Copa del Rey during his time in the Spanish capital before Arsenal came calling.
The Gunners paid £42.5m for Ozil in 2013, with him quickly becoming an Emirates cult hero.
Ozil ended up with 44 goals in 254 for Arsenal, winning an incredible three FA Cups in four years.
And it was during this time that he lifted the World Cup with Germany at Brazil 2014.
But back at Arsenal, Ozil started to find his minutes limited under Unai Emery and Mikel Arteta following Arsene Wenger’s exit.
And Ozil eventually moved to Turkey with Fenerbahce in January 2021 after having his contract terminated.
Ozil lasted 18 months with the Istanbul giants before joining city rivals Basaksehir last summer.
But he failed to score in just eight appearances for his new side before calling time on his career, last playing in a Super Lig defeat to Kayserispor on February 2.
Mesut Ozil spent three years at the Bernabeu before joining Arsenal