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Arsenal's Ozil recalls time Man United boss Mourinho called him 'coward' at Real Madrid

La Liga

By Robert Jones

Mesut Ozil has revealed that Jose Mourinho labelled him a "coward" during a bitter dressing-room row between the pair at Real Madrid.

The Arsenal playmaker featureed under Mourinho for the entirety of the coach's tempestuous three-year spell at the Santiago Bernabeu between 2010 and 2013.

The duo won one La Liga title, a Copa del Rey and a Supercoppa Espana together, but Ozil's forthcoming autobiography, Die Magie des Spiels (The Magic of the Game), suggests success did not come without clashes behind the scenes.

The book reveals that Mourinho accused Ozil of not applying himself during an unspecified match, telling him: "You think two beautiful passes are enough. You think you're so good that fifty percent is enough."

Ozil writes: "He pauses. Stares at me with his dark brown eyes. I stare back.

"Like two boxers at the stare-down before the first round. He shows no emotion. Just waits for a response from me. How much I hate him right now. And I love Mourinho actually."

Ozil claims to have then taken off his shirt and thrown it, to which Mourinho responded: "Oh, are you giving up now? You're such a coward."

"What do you want? To creep under the beautiful, warm shower? Shampoo your hair? To be alone? Or do you want to prove to your fellow players, the fans out there, and me, what you can do."

The book also reveals that Ozil turned down a chance to sign for Barcelona in 2010 after Pep Guardiola, then the club's head coach, failed to discuss the prospective move from Werder Bremen with him personally.

"Guardiola did not call me in the following days either," he writes.

"He didn't even send an SMS. He did not send me a signal that he wanted me to sign. Accordingly, my enthusiasm for Barcelona steadily declined."

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