Mesut Ozil has admitted Pep Guardiola’s snub convinced him to join Real Madrid instead of Barcelona.
The Germany star has told the story about how he decided his next club in 2010 after leaving Werder Bremen following the World Cup.
The 28-year-old has revealed that the Blaugrana were his preference, yet Jose Mourinho’s additional effort sealed the deal.
“When I visited Barcelona, there was no tour of the stadium; no display of their trophies, which had given me goose bumps in Madrid,” Ozil said in his autobiography Gunning for Greatness – serialised in the Mail. “Unlike Real Madrid, Barcelona had no emotional impact on me. The entire visit was less cordial, although I was inspired by their style of play.
“But most disappointing of all was the fact that Pep Guardiola didn’t take the time to meet me.
“Even before I went to Barcelona I was convinced that’s where I’d be transferring to. Or at least that was my preference.”
Ozil would shine for Los Blancos over the next three seasons, winning La Liga, a Copa del Rey and a Spanish Super Cup.
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He would then move to the Emirates in 2013 for a £37.4m, yet still maintains a close relationship with Mourinho.
So much so that the Red Devils boss is reportedly keen to reunite with Ozil this summer with his contract winding down in North London.