Sunday 25 February 2018

Ozil move stuns former team-mates

Mesut Ozil was a firm favourite with team-mates and fans at Real Madrid
Mesut Ozil was a firm favourite with team-mates and fans at Real Madrid

Mesut Ozil's former colleagues at Real Madrid have admitted their surprise and disappointment after seeing the Germany international complete a deadline day move to Arsenal.

Just hours after Madrid had finalised the world-record signing of Gareth Bale, it was confirmed that the Spanish giants had agreed a deal with Arsenal for Ozil believed to be worth 50million euros (£42.2m).

Having proven himself a valuable member of the Madrid squad since joining from Werder Bremen in 2010, it came as something of a shock that the nine-time European champions were willing to let the 24-year-old playmaker go.

However, Ozil revealed in an interview with the German Football Association's official website,, that he made the decision to leave because he felt he did not have the faith of new coach Carlo Ancelotti or the Madrid hierarchy.

The news of Ozil's departure caught his former Madrid team-mates unawares.

Defender Sergio Ramos said: "Mesut is a different player. If it was up to me he would be one of the last players to go. But he and the club have made their decision and I can only wish him the best.

"I get on really well with him. He's a unique player and it's a shame. These are personal things, he decides his future. Everyone chooses what's best and he's free to do what he wants.

"We have a great team and hopefully it will be a great season."

Madrid playmaker Isco, who joined the club from Malaga this summer, added of Ozil's sale in Marca: "To be honest it has surprised me, and more so after he said last week that he was going to stay.

"We all know Ozil, he has a lot of quality and he's a player who is capable of changing a game."

Alvaro Arbeloa, who like Madrid team-mates Isco and Ramos is currently on international duty with Spain, echoed the thoughts of his colleagues and admitted Ozil would be missed both on and off the pitch.

He said in AS: "I'm a little bit surprised, it's a shame, and it's a big loss to the dressing room, on a footballing level and on a personal level too.

"He said goodbye to us on Sunday, but I thought he was joking. He's very different, there's no player like him in the world. He makes the difference on the pitch.

"He'll have his reasons for moving. But we will keep looking forward, we have other great players. I understand it's tough for the fans, they loved him. He is a phenomenon and got on well with everyone. It's a real loss."

Press Association

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