Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has lifted the lid on his career-defining move to Spanish giants Real Madrid and why he thinks Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest to ever play the sport.
The 28-year-old is firing on all cylinders for the Gunners at the moment, only recently producing a contender for goal of the season against Bulgarian side Ludogorets in the Champions League.
Speaking with Arsenal TV(via 90mins) recently, the German international spoke about his 2010 move away from Bundesliga side Werder Bremen to arguably the biggest club in the world and how playing at the Bernabeu changed how he approached football.
“After the World Cup I wanted a big club,” Ozil said.
“My idol growing up was always Zinedine Zidane at Real madrid, and I said to myself if I hear they wanted me, especially under Jose Mourinho, and if they believe in me then I will move but everything was different believe me.
“If you play for Madrid you have to win every game. Even if you win 10 games in a row and then draw the next game you are under pressure. I really learned there to control the pressure, so now i can just enjoy it.”
During his time at Madrid, Ozil played alongside some of the game’s biggest players, including Sergio Ramos, Angel Di Maria, Gonzalo Higuain, and multiple Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.
According to the midfielder, Ronaldo was an influential figure in the dressing room and on the pitch during his time at the club, citing the former Manchester United winger as one of the greatest players to ever grace the sport.
“I’ve never seen another guy like him,” Ozil said.
“He works really hard – the first guy to arrive and last to go. He’s very professional, always wants to fight even in training games and he is amazing off of both feet. I really enjoyed playing with him because he made me better on the pitch.
“He is an amazing player. One of the greatest footballers in the world or perhaps in the game’s history.”
Since joining Arsenal in 2013 from Madrid, Ozil has made 130 appearances for the London-based club, scoring 27 times.
You can check out the interview in full below:
James McDonald, Pundit Arena