Arsenal's Mesut Özil was called a 'coward' by Jose Mourinho in blistering dressing-room row at Real Madrid

The Germany playmaker has revealed the details of a fall-out between the pair in his forthcoming autobiography

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The Independent Football

Mesut Özil has revealed that Jose Mourinho labelled him a “coward” during a bitter dressing-room row between their pair at Real Madrid.

The Arsenal playmaker played under Mourinho for the entirety of the coach’s tempestuous three-year spell at the Santiago Bernabeu.

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

The book, which is currently being serialised in German newspaper Bild, reveals that Mourinho accused Özil 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.”


Özil writes: “He pauses. Stares at me with his dark brown eyes. I stare back,” Özil writes. “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.”

Özil claims to have then thrown his shirt at Mourinho, who 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.”

Mourinho’s criticism of Özil will be a familiar one to fans of Arsenal, who the Germany international joined from Real Madrid for £42.5million in August 2013.

Despite his obvious talent, Özil has often been criticised by the club's support for a perceived lack of effort and a tendency to ‘go missing’.

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