Mesut Ozil has revealed in his autobiography (released 16 March) that Pep Guardiola is the reason he didn’t sign for Barcelona and instead went to Real Madrid.
Bild have been granted the right to serialise Ozil’s new autobiography and one of the stories they’ve chosen to release involved Manchester City’s current boss, Guardiola.
Apparently, Ozil had been convinced to move the Catalan giants because they played beautiful football. However, when he showed up for his meeting with the club, Pep was off on his holidays and the manager didn’t even send him a text to explain!
“Guardiola did not call me in the following days either. 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,” he writes [via Sportwitness].
“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.”
As we now know, the rest is history. The German international signed for Real Madrid and stayed there for three years before moving to Arsenal in 2013. Would he have been even more successful at Barcelona? That’s for Pep to fret about.
It’s interesting because Ozil releasing this information is bound to make headlines about the Gunners’ title rivals at a pivotal part of Arsenal’s season. Did Arsene Wenger give his blessing?