Ozil: Mourinho like father to me

Mesut Ozil says Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has developed into a father figure for his footballing career.

Football News: Mesut Ozil

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The 23-year-old midfielder was one of the first few signings Mourinho made after he was unveiled as the new Madrid manager in mid-2010.

The German international - who was brought over from Werder Bremen following an impressive World Cup in South Africa - has since grown into an integral part of the Portuguese tactician's plans for success in the Spanish capital. It now seems the pair may be even closer than first thought.

"Mourinho is [like] a father to me," Ozil told NTVSpor.

"He is a great teacher, a strong character and a caring coach to all of his players."

Ozil also dismissed suggestions Madrid are still lagging behind their bitter rivals Barcelona. Mourinho's side were expected to give the reigning Spanish champions a close fight for La Liga this campaign but these expectations have been revised slightly given their 3-1 loss to the Catalans earlier this month.

The defeat was compounded by the fact that Barca had initially fallen behind in the clash at the Bernabeu before scoring three unanswered goals to win the match.

However, Madrid still top the table by three points ahead of Pep Guardiola's team and can win La Liga if they can match their rival's point haul from the winter break onwards.

"I want to win trophies with both Germany and Real Madrid in 2012," Ozil said.

"[The] bad result against Barcelona came as a result of bad luck, but we are leaders in La Liga now, and we are three points clear."

Meanwhile, AC Milan vice president Adriano Galliani claims his side are nearer to closing the gap on European champions Barcelona than Real Madrid.

Milan have already played Barca twice this season in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League with the Rossoneri earning a notable draw at the Nou Camp in September before losing 3-2 at the Giuseppe Meazza last month.

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