Below are a number of extracts from Mesut Özil’s new autobiography which is released on the 20th April 2017. [order from Amazon here]. What’s crazy is with Arsenal being in such disarray in the Premier League, that he thought it would be a good time to bring out his autobiography!
Here is what Ozil had to say about:
… Jose Mourinho:
“If he says one more word, I am going to explode. Just one more word. What does this guy want from me? Why is he picking on me? That’s not normal. That’s crazy. Who knows what it is. It’s extremely unfair. I am sitting in the Real dressing-room at halftime. It’s my club. And Jose Mourinho, our coach, is ranting. And ranting. And ranting. It’s mostly about me. Most of his halftime adress is about me. I try not to listen too much. Too block the criticism. Because I feel that I am getting angry inside. “You think, two nice passes is enough”, Mourinho shouts. “You feel too classy to go into duels. You think you’re that good that you can do it at 50 per cent.”He stops. He stares at me with his dark brown eyes. I stare back. Like two boxers prior to the first round. He wants my reaction. He wants to see how much I hate him right now. But I do love him, actually.”
“What do you want from me?”, I shout back. And I say to Sergio Ramos, much more quietly: “He makes me crazy. He must stop talking. He’s always unhappy.“„I want you to play as good as you can“, shouts Mourinho. “I want you to go into the duels like a man. You know how you’re duels look like? No? I’m gonna show you.“Mourinho tip-toes through the room, with his arms close to his body, duck-face, hopping through the dressing-room. “If you’re that cool, go play yourself”, I shout, taking off my shirt and throwing it to his feet. “Here you go. Take it on. Come on.“Mourinho just laughs at me cynically: „Oh, you’re giving up?”, he asks. “You’re such a coward”, he says, coming close to just a few inches. “What do you want? You want to go hide under the nice, warm shower? You want to do you hair? To be alone? Or do you want to prove to your teammates and the fans, what you can do?”Mourinho suddenly speaks quietly. He’s not choleric and noisy anymore, but controlled, which makes me even madder. Why can he get himself together while I am close to freaking out completely? I am so mad. I want to throw my shoes against his head. I want him to stop. I want him to leave me alone. „You know what, Mesut?“, Mourinho says, a little bit louder again so that everybody can listen. “Go cry! Cry. You’re such a baby. Go take a shower. We don’t need you.“I get up slowly, get my towel and go past him without saying a word, without looking at him.”
Mesut Özil on ……
… clubs which were interested in him: “Five clubs came to me after the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Arsenal was already interested, Manchester United also. The same with Bayern Munich as well as Barcelona and Real Madrid.”
… not joining Bayern: “My agent met with Bayern. The bosses told him what they will do with me, how they wanted to use me. He then held the same talks with rest of the clubs. But in 2010, Bayern was by far not as good as Real Madrid and Barcelona. They lost the Champions League final in Madrid with Louis van Gaal against Inter and Mourinho.”
… his interest to go to Barcelona: “Before I personally was in Barcelona, I was convinced to go there. The tendency clearly pointed in this direction. At this time there was no team in the world which played a better football.”
… about Guardiola’s bad behaviour: “But the absence of Pep Guardiola made me amazed. When my agent and me flew back from Barcelona, I asked him again and again: “Why was the coach not there?” His answer was always the same: “He was on vacation.” Guardiola did not call me in the following days either. He did not even send an SMS. He did not gave me a signal that he wanted me to. Accordingly my enthusiasm for Barca declined step for step.”
… his decision against Barca: “Because of Guardiola’s behaviour, I did not want to go to Barcelona. Especially because Mourinho fought so much at the same time. He was so convincing. So heartfelt. So trying hard. He was the complete opposite of the Barca coach. So I decided for Jose Mourinho and Real Madrid.”
Mesut Özil on his decision to leave Real for Arsenal:
“I’m such an asshole”, I thought. I was such an idiot. I let my teammates down, and there was nothing they could do.
On that evening, I visited Sergio Ramos, who was my neighbour at that time. I talked to him for a long time, apologizing for my transfer. Later on, I also apologized to the other players.
In the meantime, I understood why Mourinho screamed at me like that in front of the other players. Actually, it was quite easy to understand. He told me loud and clear: Mourinho never wanted me to rest! That I get out of my comfort-zone on the pitch. He wanted to strengthen and temper me. He wanted to push me so far, that my development as a player was never gonna stop.
Looking back now, Mourinho was right. When I came to Madrid, I had this attitude, that playing nice was sufficient. I was satisfied too fast. Mourinho drove that attitude out of me.
“I thanked him for that. After a few days I said him that it clicked in my mind. And that I am thankful that he made my biggest weakness so clearly. “I don’t leave you alone until you have exhausted your full potential”, he replied grinning. Nevertheless he thematised it again ahead of the next game. When we played against Barcelona he said: ” My performance and my choice of words were perhaps a little too much. I apologize to you. We talked about the rest. I always want the best for you. And sometimes you only get what is the best, when it is made very clear.”