Mesut Ozil has fond memories of his time with Real Madrid. If certain reports are to be believed, he never wanted to leave.
It was in the Spanish capital where he cemented his status as one of Europe's most creative forces as an attacking midfielder and Arsenal couldn't believe their luck when he opted to sign for them back in 2013.
He made a lot of powerful friends at the Bernabeu, and ahead of this weekend's Champions League final he has paid tribute to one of them in the shape of Sergio Ramos.
Ramos has been in phenomenal form this season, hitting an impressive 10 goals across all competitions from the heart of the Madrid defence.
These goals have often come at crucial moments in the season and have gone a long way to helping the club secure the league title as well as make their way to the Champions League final. His record in finals is exceptional, too, having found the net in both the 2014 and 2016 victories.
And it is because of these goals that Ozil thinks will elevate the 31-year-old to being remembered as one of the greatest defenders in the history of the game.
“[Important goals are] what characterises him. He’s not one of the best central defenders in the world, or in the history of football, for no reason," he told Arsenal Player (via Goal).
“He just wants to be successful and you see on the pitch that he never gives up, right until the last second where some players might say: ‘Oh, it’s over.’
“But his attitude [is that] he’s always there for the team and I’m pleased for him when he scores a goal and is successful.”
Make no mistake, Ramos is also excellent at performing his defensive duties, too, and the side look less organised when he is missing.
However, he can lose his composure at times and has been known to get himself sent off in crucial moments, something he'll be looking to avoid on Saturday evening.
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