Mesut Ozil has revealed the moment in his career in which he really loathed Jose Mourinho.
- Mesut Ozil provides Daily Mail with excerpts from his book Gunning for Greatness: My Life, released 20 April
- Ozil played under Mourinho between 2010 – 2013
- Player reveals tumultuous relationship with his coach
- Claims to have ‘loathed’ Mourinho after match against Deportivo
While Ozil was at Real under Mourinho, the playmaker claims that the Portuguese manager picked on him more than the other players. He was allegedly always making digs and poking fun at the German for not getting stuck in enough. I’d be pretty sure you’d get good betting lines on openodds.com for fans who agree.
In his new autobiographic, Gunning for Greatness: My Life, Ozil attempts to explain the frustration he felt towards his coach came to a head when Real had come back from being 1-0 against Deportivo to win 5-1, yet Mourinho was still moaning post-match in the dressing room.
It was then that Ozil snapped.
“‘You think two passes are enough,’ Mourinho screams. ‘You’re too refined to go in for the tackle. You think you’re so good that 50 per cent is enough.’
“He pauses. Stares at me with his dark brown eyes. I stare back. We are like two boxers eyeballing each other before the first round. He’s not showing any emotion, just waiting for my reaction.
“How I loathe him at this moment! Although in truth I love Jose Mourinho. He alone is the reason why I went to Real Madrid from Werder Bremen in 2010. I didn’t choose the club, I chose him. I wanted to play for him and no one else.
“And this is the man who at this very moment is tearing strips off me. Ten minutes of the half-time break are over and Mourinho still isn’t finished. I’ve had enough now. ‘What do you actually want from me?’ I snap back at him.
“‘I want you to play as well as you can,’ Mourinho yells. ‘I want you to go into tackles like a man. Do you know what it looks like when you tackle? No? Let me show you.’
“Mourinho stands on tiptoes, thrusts his arms down by his sides, purses his lips and minces around the dressing room. ‘That’s how you tackle. Ooh, I mustn’t get hurt. And absolutely mustn’t get dirty,’ he shouts while repeating his Ozil tackle parody.
“‘If you’re so great, why don’t you get out there and play yourself?’ I scream now, ripping off my jersey and hurling it at his feet. ‘Here. Put it on. Off you go.’”
He later adds, “Slowly I get up, slip out of my boots, grab my towel and walk silently past the manager to the showers, without dignifying him with so much as a glance. Instead he lobs one final provocation in my direction. ‘You’re not Zinedine Zidane, you know. No! Never! You’re not even in the same league!’
“Those last words of his are like a stab to the heart. Mourinho knows exactly what he’s saying. He knows how much I admire that player. He knows the Frenchman is the only footballer I truly look up to.”
Ozil claims he’s never been spoken to like that by a manager before or since.
Ozil’s full autobiography, Gunning for Greatness: My Life, is being released 20 April.