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Sep 12, 2013

Ozil father: Mesut made a scapegoat

Mesut Ozil's father has accused Florentino Perez of leaking negative stories about his son's off-pitch behaviour to quell criticism in Spain that Real Madrid were wrong to sell the German to Arsenal for €50 million.

• McAleer: Ozil can be creative kingpin
• Marcotti: Arsenal's carpe diem

A story in Spanish newspaper ABC last week claimed that Perez had told senior Madrid socios [members] that Ozil had been allowed to leave as the club had got fed up with the player's unprofessional off-the-pitch behaviour.

That report contained no direct quotes from anyone at Madrid, but suggested that while Ozil had strictly followed his Islamic faith when he arrived at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in 2010, he then began socialising and womanising so much that his performances had suffered.

The paper also claimed that Mustapha Ozil, who handles his son's affairs, had leaked stories of interest from other clubs after Madrid turned down his demand for an €8.5 million salary.

Mustapha Ozil has angrily denied all such suggestions in Bild, said he holds the Madrid chief responsible for the allegations, and claimed he will go to court to defend his and son's good names.

"Just because someone earns a lot of money does not make them automatically a man of honour," Ozil senior said. "And [Florentino] Perez is no man of honour. Mesut is made the scapegoat now. And I am the greedy father, who only waits for the big money. A put-up job, a bad business. We will defend ourselves legally."

Many in Madrid saw the ABC story as an attempt by Madrid and Perez to protect themselves from a growing backlash from fans and pundits against the decision to sell Ozil, while signing Gareth Bale at double the German's price.

It was also pointed out that no hints of bad behaviour had appeared when the playmaker had been a regular in the team over the last three campaigns.

Ozil senior also appears to hold this view. "If Mesut leads such a dissipated life, as they always say, then I wonder: Why did he always play?," he said. "They want to talk Mesut down, because the fans and some team-mates are angry about his sale."

The Turkish-German also denied reports that he had shopped Mesut around to Premier League clubs as early as last June.

"There is an agent in England who forged an authorisation with my signature in order to shop around Mesut in my name," Ozil senior said. "We have taken legal measures against this person. We will see this through." 

ABC later published a story on its website saying that their original report came from "diverse sources" but none of these were Perez.

"From ABC we state that the president of Real Madrid made no interview or statement about this matter. We are sorry if the information published has led to erroneous interpretations."

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