“The first time I saw him he was at Werder (Bremen), he played as a left-winger and I could see straight away there was something special there.
“His intelligence is what caught my eye. Mesut is like a musician who always plays the right note at the right moment. When he needs to give the ball, he gives the ball. It is just a pleasure and it struck me at such a young age that he could give the ball and the timing of his passing was always right and he got out of impossible situations.
“It was not forced individually, you could always see that the team play was always in front of his ego. That struck me, because when players are usually talented that is not the first talent that you see.
“I tried to sign him when he went to Real Madrid, we kept a relationship because he called me and said ‘look it was between you and Real and I’ve opted for Real Madrid.’
“I found that at the time that he was very well educated. He called me and said sorry and I’ve said ok and wished him luck.
“When I heard about the opportunity to get him out of Real Madrid of course I was candid again and this time it works. It shows you seeds from the period before work later. That call remained with me and I thought if I get the opportunity next time I will not miss him!”