Mesut Ozil explains how Jose Mourinho convinced him to join Real Madrid

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Mesut Ozil had to make one of the toughest decisions of his life aged just 21 and only a few weeks after finishing third in the World Cup.

The Germany star shot onto the scene during the 2010 tournament in South Africa and instantly had clubs from around Europe queueing up for his signature.

But when giants such as Barcelona, Arsenal, Real Madrid and Manchester United are all interested, how do you decide which team to join?

Ozil's preference for Spain soon became clear which narrowed his options down to two.

And in an excerpt from his new autobiography 'Gunning for Greatness' released earlier this week, Ozil revealed Barcelona's lack of effort aided his decision.

"When I visited Barcelona, there was no tour of the stadium; no display of their trophies, which had given me goose bumps in Madrid," Ozil wrote.

"Unlike Real Madrid, Barcelona had no emotional impact on me. The entire visit was less cordial, although I was inspired by their style of play."

However, it turns out that Madrid's manager at the time, Jose Mourinho, also played a big role in convincing him to move to the Bernabeu.

In the latest excerpt to be released, Ozil reveals he had doubts over how much playing time he would get in the Spanish capital but Mourinho reassured him he was more than good enough to play for Los Blancos.

"Yes that's what I'll give you," Mourinho said, as per The Mirror. "A very real opportunity. Train hard. Then play. Show me you want it and I'll have you in my team. If you want to get better, I'll make you better.

"Real Madrid isn't too big a move for you. Real Madrid is the only right move. Trust me. I'll turn you into a regular player. And then all the doors will be open to you. You'll be able to show the world what you're capable of. And, believe me, that's a huge amount."

If that's not enough to convince one of the world's brightest prospects to join Real Madrid, nothing will.

From that point on, Ozil developed a close relationship with Mourinho and picked up a La Liga title and a Spanish Cup during his three years at the club.

His strong rapport with the Man United boss could make Arsenal fans feel increasingly uneasy as his contract at the Emirates expires at the end of next season.

Ozil is yet to make a decision on his future but you can bet there will be another fierce contest for his signature should he decide against extending his stay in north London.

La Liga
Real Madrid
Mesut Özil

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