Mesut Ozil Reveals Why He Turned Down Move To Barcelona

Reuters / Hannah McKay

Mesut Ozil has finally revealed that he decided to join Real Madrid instead of Barcelona because he was apparently unimpressed by Pep Guardiola.

The German playmaker, now at Arsenal, was a transfer hotshot during the summer of 2010 after his brilliant displays at that year’s World Cup in South Africa.

The then 21-year-old surprised everyone in the tournament with a goal and three assists as Die Mannschaft made the semi-finals.

“Arsenal were interested in signing me after the 2010 World Cup, as were Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Real Madrid,” the playmaker writes in his new book, “The Magic of the Game”.

At the time, Ozil was initially tempted by the prospect of joining Barcelona, who would go on to clinch their third La Liga title and second Champions League under Guardiola the following season.

However, when the then-Werder Bremen star visited Barcelona, he was shocked and disappointed to see that Guardiola was not there to meet him in person.

“Guardiola did not call me in the following days either,” Ozil writes in his forthcoming autobiography, which is being serialised by German news outlet Bild.

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“He didn’t even send an SMS. He did not send me a signal that he wanted me to sign. Accordingly, my enthusiasm for Barcelona steadily declined.”

Ozil was eventually convinced to work with Jose Mourinho and sign for Barcelona’s arch rivals Real Madrid, arriving for a fee of around €15million.

“Because of Guardiola’s behaviour, I did not want to go to Barcelona. Especially because Mourinho fought so much at the same time,” Ozil adds.

“He was so convincing. So heartfelt. So trying hard. He was the complete opposite of the Barça coach. So I decided for Jose Mourinho and Real Madrid.”


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