Mesut Ozil has confirmed that Arsene Wenger approached him over a move to Arsenal before he joined Real Madrid from Werder Bremen in 2010. Ozil chose the Spanish giants owing to his desire to represent the club of his boyhood idol Zinedine Zidane. The German midfielder however revealed that he promised the French manager that the Emirates Stadium would be his first choice if ever the opportunity arises to switch clubs in the future.
The Gelsenkirchen-born midfielder joined the Gunners in 2013 following a three-year spell at the Spanish capital and following a difficult start, he has become one of the top players in the league. Arsenal ended their nine-year trophy drought following his arrival and won the FA Cup back-to-back in 2014 and 2015.
"I spoke with Wenger and he wanted me at Arsenal. I said 'if I get the opportunity to change clubs, you'll be the first [choice]'," Ozil told Arsenal's official Youtube channel.
"So we spoke and I decided to come. I remember [Thierry] Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Robert Pires - such great players - and I wanted to be a part of them.
"My first and second year we won the FA Cup. I really enjoy playing for such a big club like Arsenal," the 2014 World Cup winner added.
Ozil is now in his fourth season with the north London club and has become Arsenal's most important player as Wenger looks to end the club's Premier League title drought. The German has entered the final two-years of his contract with Arsenal and the club hierarchy have opened talks to tie him down to a new deal which is likely to see him become out rightly the highest paid player at the club.
The World Cup winner also reserved special praise for former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo labeling him one of the best in the history of the game. Ozil commended the former Manchester United star's commitment and admitted that he made him a better player during their time on the pitch.
The duo shared a strong understanding during their time together with Ozil assisting a number of the Portuguese forward's goals in their three seasons at Real under Jose Mourinho.
"Cristiano Ronaldo, I never saw one guy like him. He is the first guy in the dressing room and the last guy to go home. He wants to fight even in a training game.
"He made me better on the pitch. Of course, I give my assists, a lot, to him and he knows. But I really enjoyed playing with him because he does not need a lot of chances. So even if I give him two assists, he will score two. Amazing player. One of the greatest players in history," Ozil added.