ARSENAL’S MESUT OZIL WON’T RULE OUT REAL MADRID RETURN IN FUTURE
Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil has suggested he might be open to return to Real Madrid — saying “in football you never know what might happen in the future.”
Germany international Ozil, 28, left the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu for the Emirates Stadium in summer 2013, and has won two FA Cups with the Gunners, while his former Blancos teammates have since lifted the Champions League twice.
Earlier this week, Marca reported that Ozil had made it clear to the Bernabeu hierarchy that he was open to coming back — despite how he was sold against his wishes as Madrid needed to raise money to fund the signing of Gareth Bale from Tottenham that summer.
And Ozil has now done an interview with the Spanish paper in which he was asked outright if he was hoping to return to Madrid some day.
“I am very happy playing at a club as big as Arsenal, who have incredible fans,” Ozil said. “I like playing in London, but in football you never know… We will see what happens in the future.”
Ozil added that he and Zinedine Zidane had gotten along well when the current Real Madrid manager was an assistant to Carlo Ancelotti.
“Zidane was always my idol,” Ozil said. “From a little boy I always watched his games and wanted to be like him. I play in the same position and he is a reference for me.
“When I met him for the first time at Madrid I was very nervous. He calmed me down, gave me confidence and we had a great relationship. Now he is a great coach. He won the Champions league in his first season, there is nothing bigger than that.
“I am very happy for him as he’s a great person and I always believed in his potential as a coach. I wish him the best.”
Ozil maintained that he kept in touch with both players and fans at the Bernabeu, with supporters often asking him if he could play for them again.
“Madrid is an enormous club, I played with some fantastic players, I still have friends there,” he said. “And the Madrid fans are very loyal and good to me, they still support me, even though I play for another team now. Many of them send me messages asking me to return, I still have good memories from there.
“When I see Madrid play I want them to win. And when they lose I get a bit sad. I will be rooting for them in the Clasico on Saturday.”
Pushed again about whether he misses Madrid, the Gelsenkirchen-born player said he retained great memories of his time in the Spanish capital and could possibly see himself back there some time.
“I miss the weather… it is always sunny,” Ozil said. “I have great memories of my time there, the club, the city, the fans. Of course, sometimes you think about it, you can miss it… But now I am happy at Arsenal, although you never know what can happen. We will see.”
But Ozil was quick to say it had not been a mistake to leave the La Liga giants to join Arsenal when he did.
“I don’t make mistakes,” he said. “I am happy to have come to England, to have grown as a player and as a person. I am very happy playing at such a big club as Arsenal.”