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REAL MADRID

Özil: "I learned how to handle pressure at Real Madrid"

The Arsenal player described the constant pressure of having to deliver in every game: "If you win 10 matches then draw at home, the pressure begins".

Mesut Özil con la camistea del Arsenal durante un partido de los 'gunners'.
Getty

Mourinho wanted me

Mesut Özil has given a fresh insight into how his move to Real Madrid in 2010 came about and how it felt to join such a massive institution as a young player. The Germany international told Arsenal Media on the club's official Youtube channel: "After the World Cup, a lot of big clubs wanted me and you know my idol – the player I always have spoken about was Zidane, who played for such a big club like Real Madrid. They made a big offer for me – they really wanted me, especially Mourinho. I spoke to him on the phone and he told me what he thought about me as a player and what he wanted from me. I believed him and everything he said and I moved to Real Madrid but everything was different… believe me!".

Mesut Özil pictured during his Real Madrid days.

Pressure, and enjoying your football

Özil revealed that moving from a medium-sized German club to Real Madrid was a big step and everything at the Spanish club is magnified: "It is a really big team and if you have talent as a young player and go from Werder Bremen to such a big club, with all of these big players – you just sit there, saying nothing! You have to win every game, so if you win, say 10 times in a row, then in the next game draw at home against a smaller team, the pressure starts. So at Madrid I really learned how to control being under pressure – just enjoy it, enjoy playing football which is what I did when I was a child and what I do now".

Sergio Ramos, vocalist

"I had a good time and my spell there was successful as well, and made some good friendships too with some players; my best friend was Sergio Ramos and we are still in regular contact. For me, he’s probably the best defender in the world. Sergio’s a great guy, a big personality and a good singer too, he’s got a great voice.", he continued.

Özil and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Playing and training with Cristiano was amazing

Özil, who made 159 appearances for Madrid in three seasons before joining Arsenal, also had a lot of nice things to say about Cristiano Ronaldo and believes he is a better player for having training with and played alongside the Madrid No.7: "“I’ve never seen anyone like Cristiano Ronaldo. He works really hard – he’s the first to get to the changing rooms and the last to leave – he's very professional. He was always ambitious, even in practice matches in training, he wanted to win. Sometimes I’d have the ball and he’d been in the corner of my eye; I’d be thinking should I pass him the ball because he was very good with both feet – he’s not one of those players who can only shoot with the best foot. I really enjoyed playing with him because he made me a better player and he’s a great guy too and a good friend of mine. It was so easy to play with him – I didn’t need to give Cristiano many assists – if I gave him two, he'd score from both of them. He’s amazing – one of the greatest players in the history of the game”.