‘I will never forget this club’

Mikel Arteta spoke to Arsenal Player after making his final Arsenal appearance, against Aston Villa on Sunday. You can read a full transcript of his interview below:

on his emotions of the day…
It's a day I will never forget, I can only thank everyone for how you have all behaved with me and my family in those magnificent five years. When you leave the club is when you see what you mean to people and how you feel about the club. My emotions and the way I feel about the people cannot be any better. I was very scared about this day because 99 per cent, that was my last game as a professional footballer. I can't even talk. I feel very honoured to play for this club and captain this place. This club is class and once you are here you never forget it. It's going to be hard for me to move on, but I really enjoyed today.

on whether he will claim the last goal…
I don't know. I couldn't write a better script probably. The boys have been absolutely magnificent with me in the last two days. The things I've experienced will stay with me for the rest of my life. I always tried to look after them, to do my best. Even if we had some difficult moments, but at least we got this club back to winning ways again. We won some trophies. Also a big to thank you to the manager and the staff, for giving me this opportunity to say goodbye to the football world as a player. The way the supporters and the fans behaved with me, it's just how I feel. It's a dream come true.

on the final whistle…
I love competing and I love this game. I wanted to decide when the time was to leave. I preferred to make that decision myself, and not the other away around. In my opinion, I'm leaving the best club in England for sure. I’m very happy because the people and the manager have been unbelievable for me these last few weeks. They have left the doors open for me at this club. That means a lot.

on his next step…
I have to take some time. I’m 99 per cent sure I will stop playing football. I have different options now to continue in relation to this magnificent sport. I need to sit down with my family and decide what is best for me and for football in general in the next chapter.

on clinching second…
I think as the last day it is very special, and very good as I know how important it was for the fans to finish above Spurs. We are disappointed, because this group of players have the ability to win the Premier League. We have not managed to do it and I have to say sorry as captain, not to be able to lead this club to what we wanted. But at the same time, I know the guts of this club and people can be very honoured and grateful for what people do inside, because it can’t get much better than that.

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