Mourinho’s Ozil criticism brings back memories of infamous Real Madrid spat

The latest episode in the long-running spat between Mesut Ozil and Jose Mourinho has brought back memories of their time at Real Madrid.

Tottenham boss Mourinho managed Ozil at the La Liga giants for three years, with the two suffering a major falling-out over the German’s work ethic.

It appears their relationship still has not healed after Mourinho responded to Ozil’s claim that he would rather retire than play for Spurs.

The midfielder has been frozen out by Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta and has been linked with a departure from the Emirates in the January transfer window.

But Ozil made clear in a Twitter Q&A on Monday that one club he definitely won’t be joining is Spurs.

The World Cup winner replied to a question about what he would choose between retiring or signing for Spurs during a Twitter Q&A with: “Easy question. Retire!”

That response seemed to irk Mourinho, with the Portuguese giving a withering put down at a press conference by simply asking: “Who told him that Tottenham would be interested in signing him?”

And the latest disagreement between the pair has drawn comparisons to their time at Madrid.

Their spat in the Spanish capital stemmed from Mourinho criticising Ozil’s work ethic, as the German documented in his autobiography.

“[Mourinho said to me] you think you’re so good that 50 per cent is enough?” he wrote.

“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’s reacted to that criticism by taking his shirt off and throwing it at his manager, 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?’”

Ozil is out of favour at Arsenal and eyeing his next move, although it is unclear if he will depart in January or when his contract expires in the summer.

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