Mesut Ozil has defended himself from accusations of a lack of professionalism at Real Madrid, citing his longevity in the team.
A report from ABC, since retracted, alleged that Madrid’s reasoning behind selling the German international to Arsenal on the last day of the transfer window was in part down to his behaviour away from the pitch and his high wage demands in contract renegotiations.
“I don't want to say anything bad about Madrid because I had three wonderful years there,” reflected Ozil at his official presentation as an Arsenal player today.
“I have great friends there. We achieved a lot with the club and [won] trophies. That is why I don't want to talk a lot about it.
“People who know me know how professional I am and I think [in] the past years, you can see how many games I played – 159 games.
“If you are not professional in your life, then I don't think you can play that many games.
“People know how professional I am and this is what counts. All the rumours, I don't care about them. I have a new task here.
“I am just looking ahead. I am in London now. We have big goals here and we will work very hard to reach these goals.
“You can see by the reaction of the fans and the players that they didn't understand the move, but this is football. You always have to look ahead and I have made the next step.
“My time there was great, but that topic is over. I will have wonderful years here [at Arsenal], hopefully I will win many trophies and stay healthy and this what I look forward to.”