After playing for various youth teams Mesut Özil joined Schalke 04 when he was 16-years-old. He spent a year and a half in their first team before falling out with club management and being sold to Werder Bremen for €4.3 million.
After two and a half seasons at Bremen, Özil became one of the most desirable signings in Europe after great performances for Germany in the World Cup. Barcelona, Manchester United and Arsenal were all keen to sign him but he opted for a move to Real Madrid.
“When the offer came in to join Real Madrid, there is no decision to make,” he said. “Let’s be honest – you don’t refuse this club. I was in no rush to leave Werder Bremen, but this is one club you say yes to. They are an institution, a club with a fantastic history, stadium and squad full of world-class players. The prospect of performing at the Bernabeu is so awesome you jump straight in.”
Six months in to his career he scored a goal against Sevilla in the Copa del Rey semi-final and celebrated by kissing the badge.