How Are Real Madrid Dealing with the Fallout from the Sale of Mesut Ozil?
As stories continue to trickle out in the Spanish press strangely trying to justify Real Madrid's sale of Mesut Ozil to Arsenal, are some people at risk of beginning to look more foolish than they already do?
In the build up to the German's deadline day departure, El Confidencial was among several Spanish papers reporting that he was using underhand tactics to demand increased wages, via Sporting Witness.
Ozil was accused of "acting up to get a huge pay rise and even fabricating interest from other clubs in order to pressure [Florentino] Perez."
Of course, it could be true, but it could also be propaganda with Madrid's president at the root of it all.
With these stories more or less falling on deaf ears, the latest article, published in Saturday's El Mundo, reaches new lows in trying to tarnish the excellent reputation the 24-year-old has seemingly left behind in the Spanish capital.
El Mundo reported, via Sporting witness: "To put it bluntly, they claim the footballer was putting it about a bit, and this harmed his training and ultimately led to him becoming a player the club were happy to sell. "
If a player's personal life was affecting his performance as an athlete, it is, quite rightly, of interest to the fans. But why now? Why try and drag Ozil's name through the mud now he's left?
The obvious answer, although, admittedly not the only one, is propaganda once again.
Coupled with Ozil's sale, Perez has not received quite the reaction to his world-record signing of Tottenham's Gareth Bale he might have liked.
During the Welshman's unveiling, "Don't sell Ozil" could be heard from fans in the Bernabeu stadium, via ESPNFC. And since his sale, a poll in Madrid-based paper AS revealed 66 percent of people disagree with Ozil's transfer, via BBC.
It's not just the supporters who are upset, current Madrid players have shown a range of emotions, nearly all negative, to the switch.
“I'm angry at Ozil’s exit," said Cristiano Ronaldo while away with Portugal during the international break, via football-espana.net.
Meanwhile Alvaro Arbeloa told AS he thought it was a joke, via The Mirror.
He said goodbye to us on Sunday, but I thought he was joking. I'm a little bit surprised, it's a shame, and it's a big loss to the dressing room, on a footballing level and on a personal level too
There's no player like him in the world. He makes the difference on the pitch. I understand it's tough for the fans, they loved him. He is a phenomenon and got on well with everyone. It's a real loss.
Sergio Ramos is among the other players to have offered his opinion, saying that if he decided "what was happening at Madrid [Ozil] would be one of the last who would be going," via The Mirror.
It all suggests that the campaign that is ostensibly being run to provide answers for Ozil's sale, isn't working.
Perez and the Spanish press can talk about Ozil all they want, but it lacks class to try and rubbish his name once he has left the club—especially when they have several new multi-million pound signings to focus on.
Ozil is gone, but Real Madrid remains. If this painful affair drags on any longer, some people are at risk of looking more than just a bit silly.
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