Mesut Ozil has admitted he still holds Real Madrid close to his heart and feels he is often “singled out” when Arsenal endure a “bad run”.
Ozil’s performances at Arsenal have come under the spotlight this season with many feeling he doesn’t turn it on against the tougher opposition.
And with his contract talks expected to continue at the end of the season – the German currently has 15 months left to run on his existing deal – his place in the Arsenal team has been questioned for the first time since he joined the Gunners in summer 2013 in a club-record £42.5million deal.
Despite scoring five and assisting five goals in 22 Premier League appearances this season, the 28-year-old feels he has become a scapegoat for Arsenal’s struggles this season.
“When the team’s on a bad run, somebody needs to be singled out, sadly most of the time it’s me,” he told Sport Bild.
He went on to discuss his relationship with the fans further, stating: “You know what made me proud? The first day the Arsenal fans sang the Ozil song.
“I’ve never experienced anything like it at any other club. It gives me goose bumps every time the fans sing that song.”
Ozil added that his “heart beats” for former club Real Madrid, who he left to join Arsenal in 2013.
“Of course my heart beats for Real,” he said. “I played there and still have many friends to this day in the team and in the club. Therefore I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Real, even against Bayern.”