Arsenal legend Mesut Ozil reveals he CRIED before joining Gunners following sudden transfer from Real Madrid
- Ozil has retired aged 34
- Played for Real Madrid 2010-13
- Made £42.5m move to Arsenal after fallout
WHAT HAPPENED? The recently-retired Germany and Arsenal great, who has called time on his career aged 34, looked back at one of the regrets of his career, which was to be sold by Real Madrid in 2013.
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WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking to Spanish newspaper Marca, Ozil said: "I was very sad when I left Madrid. I remember that at the airport. When the plane in which I was leaving Madrid took off, I started to cry. I was really happy [at Real], but things happened. Suddenly, at the beginning of that season, I no longer had many playing minutes and a conflict arose between Mr Florentino Perez and my father and agent.
"We had to look for a new club. It was hard for me. The moment the plane took off, tears fell from my eyes. That was the moment I realised it was over... Of course, I wish we could have handled the situation at that time differently."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The £42.5million (€50million) move had been a surprise – and clearly a sadness – for Ozil, but it worked out alright. The playmaker went on to become a fan favourite at Arsenal, staying at the Emirates Stadium for eight years and playing 254 games, scoring 44 goals and helping the Gunners win the FA Cup on four occasions.
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DID YOU KNOW? Ozil led La Liga's assist charts for three seasons running while at Madrid, recording 26 assists in his final season at the Santiago Bernabeu.
WHAT NEXT FOR OZIL? After announcing his retirement, it is not clear clear what Ozil's next step will be. It would be a shock if he went into management, but it remains to be seen.