Per Mertesacker

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Interview

Per - It was beautiful and very humbling

Per Mertesacker has hailed the "beautiful" and "humbling" reception that he received from the Arsenal fans in his final game at Emirates Stadium.

The World Cup winner will become our academy manager next season, and was given a huge ovation when he stepped off the bench against Burnley.
 
"It was a beautiful moment," Mertesacker told Arsenal Player. "It is difficult to sum it up now. It was brilliant, how the team performed and the manager letting me on for the last time.
 
"I was pretty much focused and concentrated on the game. Afterwards it was very emotional. To get such an exit from the club, I’m very grateful for this opportunity. The boss brought me here, this club trusted me. It’s very humbling and I feel very grateful.

"The good thing was we were 5-0 up [when I came on], so I could really take that warm welcome and the emotions to enter the pitch for the last time.
 
"It’s magnificent the way I was welcomed from the first day, and for the great finish as a football player. That’s brilliant and it speaks of this classy club by giving me the opportunity to get such a great ending."

Per Mertesacker

Quiz

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Per Mertesacker

Per Mertesacker has been a fan favourite ever since he arrived in north London on transfer deadline day back in 2011.

The BFG has lifted three FA Cups during his time with us, and even won the World Cup with Germany in 2014, but how much do you know about his senior career?

Find out by taking our quiz:

Interview

Per - The story of my most satisfying moment

It’s been referred to by Martin Keown as ‘The Mertesacker Final’, so impressive was club captain Per’s performance in our 2-1 win over Chelsea at Wembley back in May.

Making his first start of the 2016/17 season in our final match of the campaign, Mertesacker produced an exemplary display to lead us to a record-breaking 13th FA Cup trophy. So what are his memories of that momentous evening?

This article first appeared in the Arsenal Magazine - get it here

“It was absolutely amazing to see how things can turn around literally in one game,” he told the Arsenal Magazine. “That was the most exciting thing about it, to see how quickly things turn around in football. 

“There was a lot of doubt before the game and I can understand that, even from the fans. Is he still able to play at the highest level? Things like that. There were a lot of questions before the game and after that day there were all the answers. I just gave them that answer on the pitch and that is the most satisfying moment I’ve probably had in my career. 

“After a long time out with injury, I was not being selected, plus the fact that everyone counted me out of being in the line-up, out of the squad. 

“That was the most satisfying thing for me, that you can give all the answers on the pitch and that’s what we did as a team. To have that trust in each other was, for me, the most impactful thing I’ve ever felt, especially in that game.

“Nobody believed in me and to call it the ‘Mertesacker Final’ says it all. I don’t take that at all, though, because it’s not about me. 

“The way people think about teams nowadays and singling out individuals is wrong for me. I won’t take that. I felt I had to say something about me, but I meant it more about the team generally because Chelsea were super favourites and everyone wanted them to win. 

“We kept our legacy in the FA Cup going and that was our main aim that day.”