At his press unveiling on Thursday, new Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil defended his record after Real Madrid President Florentino Perez had questioned his off-field conduct during his time with Los Blancos. Earlier this week, ABC published a story attributing quotes to Perez in which he said the German international lacked professionalism.
"I don't want to say anything bad about Madrid because I had three wonderful years there. I have great friends there,” the 24-year-old said. “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.”
Meanwhile, Ozil’s father, Mustafa Ozil, who is also his son’s agent, has told German newspaper Bild that Perez is “not an honorable man” for making his son a scapegoat. "The fact that someone earns a lot of money does not automatically make them an honorable man, and Florentino Pérez is not an honorable man," Mustafa said. "He now wants to make Mesut into a scapegoat and show me up as just a greedy father who is only interested in money. He is playing a dirty game, and we will defend ourselves in court if needs be."
Real Madrid has since proclaimed that the ABC story was false.