Mesut Özil capped off a rich career. the 34 year old, nicknamed “El mago”, has given joy to his teammates and fans alike throughout his career. Why did he choose Real Madrid over Barcelona then?
Mesut Özil’s career is littered with success and big clubs. The German footballer has even made it to the biggest and most successful one in history – Real Madrid.
After a year and a half at Schalke and two and a half years at Werder Bremen, he went with Germany to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, which changed his life.
He proved himself enough to be wanted by the biggest clubs in the world – Real Madrid and Barcelona. In the Spanish capital, José Mourinho was building a new Galácticos project, while in Catalonia the tiki-taka machine was in full swing under Pep Guardiola.
And Özil could choose which team to link his future with. “I was deciding between Real Madrid and Barcelona. And it wasn’t about money at all. I visited both Madrid and Barcelona at the time and José Mourinho was the difference,” says Özil in an interview with the daily MARCA.
“He took me to see the stadium and all the trophies they won. It gave me goosebumps. The visit to Barcelona was less exciting and the biggest disappointment for me was that Pep Guardiola didn’t even bother to get to know me,” explains the former German midfielder.
“Before this visit I liked Barcelona’s style a lot and I could imagine playing with them, but Madrid went all out. José Mourinho was the strongest factor in my decision. After my visits, I was clear: I wanted to be a Madrid player,” Özil added.
He spent three seasons at Real Madrid, but then had to leave. But it was not his decision…
“I was really happy in Madrid for three years. But then something happened. Suddenly, at the beginning of the season, I didn’t get many minutes and there was a conflict between Florentino Pérez and my father and my agent. We had to look for a new club. When I flew out of Madrid, I was in tears,” Özil recalls.
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