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Arsenal's Mesut Özil and Real Madrid Embroiled in PR Battle

Adithya Manjunath |
September 12, 2013 | 12:53 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

Despite having left Real Madrid, Mesut Özil is still a hot topic of discussion when it comes to the Galácticos. (Benjamin Radzun/Wikimedia Commons)
Despite having left Real Madrid, Mesut Özil is still a hot topic of discussion when it comes to the Galácticos. (Benjamin Radzun/Wikimedia Commons)

With Real Madrid's hierarchy facing plenty of dissent over the sudden departure of Mesut Özil to Arsenal, Real Madrid's president Florentino Pérez has moved to control the dissident atmosphere surrounding Özil's sale.

ABC, a Spanish daily with strong ties to Pérez reported on Tuesday that Pérez plans on doing so by informing the club's shareholders that "he (Özil) wasn't a good professional and was obsessed with women and nightlife".

Pérez hoped to excite fans around the world with the record-breaking deal involving Gareth Bale, but the Galácticos were forced to sell Mesut Özil, Gonzalo Higuaín and José Callejón to fund the transfer. Real Madrid's fans were particularly displeased about Özil's departure, and were heard chanting "Don't sell Özil!" at Gareth Bale's presentation at the Bernabéu.

Real Madrid legend and assistant coach Zinedine Zidane added fuel to the fire, and stated that Özil left the Galácticos owing to the fact that he lacked the "strength and will" to fight for his place in the team. Zidane was quoted as saying to Real Madrid's official TV channel -

"Özil decided to leave," he told the club's official channel. "He is a good player who has given us so much so we wish him well. There are players who have responded with strength and will to fight for a place, but not everyone reacted the same. [Angel] Di Maria responded well and wanted to fight."

Mesut Özil's father, Mustafa Özil, seemed to be very displeased by Pérez's comments in particular, and was quoted as saying in BILD -
"Just because a man earns a lot of money, doesn't mean he's a man of honor. And Perez is no man of honour. Mesut is supposed to be the scapegoat now and I'm the greedy father. A put-up game. We will defend ourselves legally. If Mesut had an unprofessional life in Madrid, then why did he always play? They want to blame him now, because the fans and team-mates are angry."
Özil himself, however, did his best to remain on the fence and be as objective as possible about his departure -
"I don’t want to say anything bad about Madrid because I had three wonderful years there. We achieved trophies and I had a great time there, but the people who know me know how professional I am. I played 159 games - you can’t play that many games if you’re not professional. So people know how professional I am. This is what counts and I don't care about all the rumors. I have a new task here and I am just looking ahead. We have big goals and we will work very hard to achieve these goals."

Özil's father has threatened legal action against Real Madrid, but whether they follow through remains unclear at the moment.

Contact Executive Producer Adi here and follow him on Twitter.



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