Sunday 22 October 2017

'Because of Guardiola’s behaviour, I did not want to go to Barcelona' - Ozil reveals Pep's transfer snub

MUNICH, GERMANY - MARCH 11: Coach of Bayern Munchen Pep Guardiola looks on while Mesut Ozil of Arsenal is in action during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Arsenal FC on March 11, 2014 in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - MARCH 11: Coach of Bayern Munchen Pep Guardiola looks on while Mesut Ozil of Arsenal is in action during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Arsenal FC on March 11, 2014 in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

Mark Critchley

Mesut Özil has revealed that he opted to join Real Madrid over Barcelona because he was unimpressed by Pep Guardiola.

The Germany international, now at Arsenal, was in high demand during the summer of 2010 following his eye-catching displays at that year's World Cup in South Africa.

Read more: 'Coward' Mesut Ozil reveals details of blistering dressing-room row with Jose Mourinho

At the time, Özil was tempted by the prospect of moving to Barcelona, who would go on to win their third league title and second Champions League under Guardiola the following season.

However, when the then-Werder Bremen playmaker visited Barcelona, he was disappointed to find that Guardiola was not there to meet him in person.

“Guardiola did not call me in the following days either,” Özil writes in his forthcoming autobiography, which is being serialised by Bild, the Germany newspaper.

“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.”

Özil was eventually convinced to join forces with Jose Mourinho and sign for Barcelona’s rivals Real Madrid, arriving for a fee in the region of €15million.

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

“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.”

(© Independent News Service)

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