Few would regard Per Mertesacker as anything but a tough customer given his imposing record as a center back with Arsenal, Germany, and Werder Bremen.
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But as the German completes his final season as a player ahead of a coaching move into Arsenal’s academy, the 33-year-old says he doesn’t miss match day and hopes to finish the season watching from the stands.
Even the toughest have their demons, and Mertesacker told Der Spiegel that he is plagued by pre-match jitters of a sickening variety. From the Metro:
“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.”
That’s not unsettling at all.
Mertesacker has played 11 times this season, with a pair of goals for the Gunners, running his Arsenal total to 220 appearances.
He’ll finish his career with 104 Germany caps and a World Cup to go with three FA Cups and two German Cups.