An English Premier League defender and Arsenal star has come out to potentially put a stop to his playing career with the Gunners.
North London club Arsenal and German national Per Mertesacker has revealed he will retire at the end of the 2017/18 season due the stress of football on his life.
The 33-year-old World Cup winner has managed just 13 appearances for the Gunners since 2016. The German said the game his draining his ageing body.
Per Mertesacker is happy to see out the rest of the season on the sidelines as one of the clubs top earners, and club captain because his ‘body is finished.’ He should have retired last summer, and given the club the opportunity to replace him. Soft captain at a soft club.
— Adam Keys (@_AdamKeys) March 13, 2018
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He told German press, “My body is finished; everyone says I should enjoy the last year, to play as much as possible and take everything in.”
“I would rather sit on the bench or – even better – in the stands, and then, for the first time in my life, aged more than 30, I will feel free. Some days you realise that everything is a burden, both physically and mentally, but you have to deliver without a doubt, even if you are injured.”
Per Mertesacker in his prime was one of the smartest defenders around, remember his masterclass against us at the KP in 15/16.
— Rosś (@Bielsaciple) March 10, 2018
“In the moments before a game starts, my stomach turns around as if I had to vomit. Then I have to choke so violently until my eyes water. Even if I had to vomit before every game and go to rehab 20 times, I would do it all over again.”
“It was worth it for all of the memories.”
The defender made 155 appearances for the Gunners, winning three FA Cup titles. He also made 104 appearances for Germany lifting the FIFA World Cup in 2014.