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Per Mertesacker Biography

Wednesday17 February 2021 | 6:30
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One of the few defenders to have played more than 100 matches for German national team alongside legends like Lothar Matthaus and Franz Beckenbauer, in this article we take a look at Per Mertesacker Biography.

Per Mertesacker, born on 29 September 1984, in Pattensen, Hannover, is a German former professional footballer who played as a central defender and his last club was Arsenal F.C. in the English Premier League. He is currently working as a coach in the

Arsenal

football academy.

He began his career at

Hannover 96

in his hometown, where he made his professional debut. He joined

Werder Bremen

in 2006 and Arsenal in 2011. In Arsenal Per Mertesacker proved himself as one of the best defenders of the club in the 7 season he was there. Between 2011 and 2018, Mertesacker managed to play 221 matches in all competitions for Arsenal and score 10 goals.

After playing his first international match against the

Iranian national team

on October 9, 2004, in Tehran, Per Mertesacker has become one of the key players in the

German national team

, starting two World Cups (2006 and 2010) and one European Championship (2008), making more than 100 appearances for the German national team.

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All You Need to Know About Per Mertesacker Biography

He was part of the Germany national football team, with which he won the 2014 World Cup, until his international retirement. He stands out for his height and the confidence he possesses as a footballer.

Per Mertesacker Information

To let you know Per Mertesacker even more, in this section of his article we will share some general information about him such as

Per Mertesacker nationality

. Stay tuned.

Per Mertesacker Bio

  • Full Name: Per Mertesacker

  • Nickname: Mr Clean

  • Profession: Professional Footballer

Per Mertesacker Physical Stats

  • Weight: 90 Kg

  • Height: 1.98 m

  • Eye Color: Brown

  • Hair Color: Blonde

Per Mertesacker Football Information

  • Position: Defender

  • Jersey Number: 4

  • Professional Debut: 2003

Per Mertesacker Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 29 September 1984

  • Birth Place: Hanover, West Germany

  • Zodiac Sign: Libra

  • Nationality: German

Now stay tuned as in this section of

Per Mertesacker biography

we want to share some information about

Per Mertesacker childhood

.

Per Mertesacker Early Life

Born in Pattensen on 29 September 1984, Per Mertesacker played for TSV Pattensen in his hometown until he was eleven. Per has said in an interview that as he lived in Pattensen, his football started at the club and as he was a big boy, he always played the players at least one year older than him.

In early days of his football career as a kid, Per Mertesacker has said that his father was his first football coach. At the age of 15, he started working with Toralf Riebe and learned so much from him. Per has also stated that Waldemar Krause was the first coach who put Mertesacker at centre back.

In 1995, he moved to the youth team of Hannover 96. Under youth coach Jürgen Stoffregen, the 1.98-metre giant managed to take part in professional training.

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Per Mertesacker Profile

Trained in Hanover 96, Per Mertesacker had a difficult start in football. Considered not gifted enough for football, he thought about quitting before being convinced by his father Stefan, youth trainer in Hanover, to keep at it. He played his first match for the club on 1 November 2003 against

Koeln

when he was only 18 years old. He broke his nose in that match, which forced him out after 46 minutes of play.

He waited four months before playing his second professional match for Hanover. Nevertheless, he made his mark as a central defender and quickly became one of the Bundesliga's most promising prospects. In particular, he gained a reputation as a clean player who does not commit any fouls: in the 74 matches he played for Hannover 96 in the Bundesliga, he received only 2 yellow cards.

At the beginning of October 2004, he was called up for the national team by Jürgen Klinsmann and made his first national appearance on the 9th of that month against Iran (2-0 victory), thus becoming one of the youngest players to make his debut for the Mannschaft. His progress was dazzling as he quickly became a regular in the position of the central defender for the national team alongside Robert Huth.

After 82 matches played for Hanover, eight goals and only three yellow cards, he was transferred to Werder Bremen in 2006 just after the 2006

World Cup

for the sum of five million euros.

Now stay tuned as in this section of

Per Mertesacker biography

we want to share some information about his Werder Bremen career.

Werder Bremen

Mertesacker was transferred to Werder Bremen in August 2006 for a fee of 5 million euros following good performances at the 2006 World Cup, where Germany managed to place third. Despite missing the start of the 2006/07 season through injury, he settled quickly into a central defensive role.

He scored his first UEFA Champions League goal in November in a 1-0 win over

Chelsea

, thereby snapping the

English Premier League

winners' undefeated run. After returning to the AWD-Arena in the first game of the second half of the season, he declined to celebrate the goal after scoring against Hanover. Nevertheless, Mertesacker's 2007/08 season was a bit of a mixed bag.

Initially featuring in almost all of Bremen's league and European matches, he picked up the first red card of his career in a 6-3 defeat against

Stuttgart

. Finally, the club finished runners-up in the

Bundesliga

with 10 points behind champions

Bayern Munich

. Yet they secured a place in the next edition of the

Champions League

. After the season, he renewed his contract for two more years.

In the late summer, after playing in Euro 2008, he came back to the first team line-up, just to miss the start of the 2008-09 season because of a knee injury. In the

DFB Pokal

semi-final versus northern rivals Hamburg, Mertesacker scored his first goal that season. In the second half,

Hamburg

equalised, which pushed the match into extra time.

After winning 3-1 on penalties, Bremen eventually went on to reach the final. Later, by defeating

Bayer Leverkusen

in a penalty shootout, Bremen won 1-0. He was a regular for the club for the remainder of the season before injury stopped him from participating in the second match of the UEFA Cup semi-final against Hamburg. The injury made clear that his right ankle had dislocated ligaments and required an operation.

Absent for the remainder of the season, notably the final of the UEFA Cup against

Shakhtar Donetsk

and the final of the DFB Pokal that they managed to win. He scored 4 goals in total, including the critical equalizer against Wolfsburg.

Per started the 2009/10 season by appearing in the crushing 5-0 win over Union Berlin in the German DFB Pokal. In October he scored his first goal of the season against Hoffenheim (2-0) and drew the match in the last minute against Bayer Leverkusen in February. Overall he made 33 Bundesliga appearances, scoring five goals in the process.

Mertesacker played 30 Bundesliga matches during the 2010/11 season, scoring two goals. He had an average of 46.3 passes per match, which was the third-highest in Bremen and the second most successful pass percentage (82%), demonstrating that his game was not just about winning headers.

He received only one yellow card in 63 league games in his last two seasons in Bremen (Mertesacker was already captain of the Green and Whites). Many people might expect several bad fouls from a central defender of Mertesacker's stature but in fact, Per averaged less than one foul per game.

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Arsenal

On 31 August 2011, Mertesacker signed a contract with Arsenal, the duration of the contract and the amount of the transfer being officially undisclosed. He received the number 4 jersey, which was left vacant after Francesc Fàbregas left for FC Barcelona. He took part in his first Premier League match against Swansea City (1-0 win) on the following 10th September, when Arsène Wenger picked him up in the match against Swansea City on Matchday 4 (1-0).

Mertesacker suffered a torn ankle in the Gunners' 2-1 win over Sunderland on 11 February 2012. This injury ended a very disappointing season for him. In fact, having operated on the ligaments a few days later, Arsène Wenger first announced that the German defender would be removed from the pitch "for a long time " before declaring a month later that he would not play again during the season.

He was back in the Arsenal jersey on 18 August 2012 for the first matchday of the Premier League against Sunderland (0-0). Mertesacker scored his first goal for the Gunners in the match against Tottenham Hotspur on Matchday 12 of the Premier League on 17 November 2012 (5-2 win).

After a full season during which he has been a Premier League regular, playing 33 matches, and a solid performance that lived up to the expectations when he signed, Mertesacker had been appointed captain of the Gunners for the start of the 2013/2014 season. This followed after injuries to Mikel Arteta and Thomas Vermaelen, respectively captain and vice-captain. During this period, he proved to be reassuring and asserted himself as the defensive leader alongside Laurent Koscielny, who also performed very well.

He scored the third goal of the FA Cup final against Aston Villa on 30 May 2015 (Arsenal won 4-0 against). He ended his career professional football career on 13 May 2018 after the match against Huddersfield.

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German National Team

At 199.5 cm, Per Mertesacker is so far the tallest player in the history of the German national team. Shortly after jumping from the youth team to the senior team of Hannover 96, the next step in his career followed: After about 20 Bundesliga appearances as a regular player, the then national coach Jürgen Klinsmann called Per Mertesacker into the senior national team for the first time. He played his first international match against Iran in Tehran on 9 October 2004.

Due to his consistent performances and firm but fair play at the 2005 Confederations Cup in Germany, where he also scored his first international goal in the match against Australia, he established himself as a permanent member of the national team and was one of the few players who could already count on a regular place in the run-up to the 2006 World Cup.

Per Mertesacker celebrated his World Cup debut on 9 June 2006 in Munich in the opening match against Costa Rica. Alongside Jens Lehmann and Philipp Lahm, he was the only regular player to play the full game in all German World Cup matches up to the semi-finals. His partner in central defence was Christoph Metzelder. He was one of the players with the best tackling record and did not receive a yellow card. He was unable to play in the match for the third place due to an inflammation of the bursa sac and was replaced by Jens Nowotny.

For the 2008 European Championship, he was called up to the German team by the new national coach Joachim Löw. He also played alongside Metzelder in this tournament and played the full 90 minutes in all of the German team's matches.

He was called up by Joachim Löw to the squad for the 2010 World Cup on 6 May 2010 and again played all of the German team's matches in this tournament. His partner in central defence was Arne Friedrich.

Löw again called him into the German squad for the 2012 European Championship. However, the central defence of the starting line-up consisted of Mats Hummels and Holger Badstuber, so that Mertesacker was only a substitute for the first time at a major tournament and remained without an appearance, after having been in the starting eleven almost consistently in the previous seven years.

On 29 May 2013, in the absence of Philipp Lahm, he led the national team onto the pitch as captain for the first time in a friendly match against Ecuador, having previously taken the captain's armband four times after the first captain had been substituted.

Mertesacker scored his third goal for the national team in the 23rd minute of a World Cup qualifier against the Faroe Islands on 10 September 2013. He captained the national team for the second time on 19 November 2013 in his 95th international match, matching Sepp Maier and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, in the match against England at Wembley Stadium, scoring the 1-0 winner with his first headed goal for the national team.

He completed his national team career in 2014 by winning the World Cup. Due to a change of system by national coach Löw in the form of a defensive chain of four centre-backs, Mertesacker initially played all the group matches and the round of 16 for the whole match duration. He played his 100th international match in the group match against Ghana on 21 June 2014. In the quarter-final against France, however, Löw reverted to the old system and gave Mats Hummels and Jérôme Boateng preference in central defence, so that Mertesacker did not play.

In the historic 7-1 semi-final win over hosts Brazil, Mertesacker was substituted for Hummels at half-time (score 5-0). In the final against Argentina, he was again not in the starting line-up. It was only in the last minute of extra time that he was substituted for Mesut Özil at 1-0, making his 104th international appearance.

Mertesacker resigned from the national team on 15 August 2014. Together with Philipp Lahm and Miroslav Klose, who also resigned from the national team after the World Cup, Mertesacker was officially retired from the national team on 3 September 2014 during the friendly match against Argentina in Düsseldorf. He was no longer in the squad.

Now stay tuned as in this section of

Per Mertesacker biography

we want to share some information about his coaching career.

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Coaching Career

At the beginning of October 2018, Mertesacker took charge of the Arsenal football academy at his former club. At the end of November 2019, he became interim assistant coach to interim coach Freddie Ljungberg with the senior professional team. After Mikel Arteta took over the team at the end of December 2019, Mertesacker left the coaching staff again.

Style of Play

Mertesacker was known for his fair play, he only committed very few fouls in the game. He owed this above all to his good positional play. He showed a distinct feeling for space. With his game intelligence, Mertesacker sensed early on where a ball was being played to and was thus often able to run down opposing passes in depth without getting into difficult one-on-one situations.

His strengths also included opening up the game. After winning the ball, Mertesacker didn't knock the ball forward out of control, instead, he was the first station of a fast build-up through the midfield. Among his weaknesses was his lack of speed. Repeatedly, the 1.99 m man was met with accusations of being slow and sluggish.

Mertesacker was regarded as a defender who was strong in duels but relatively fair with only nine yellow cards and two red cards in 221 Bundesliga games and was an important identification figure for the fans. At Arsenal, he received eleven yellow cards and two red cards in his 156 league games.

Reception

Per Mertesacker is regarded as one of the best defenders in the history of German football and many compare him to the likes of Lothar Matthaus and Franz Beckenbauer.

Goal Celebration

As a central defender, he has scored a good number of goals during his career as a footballer. Due to his height, he was able to score some beautiful header goals. While he didn’t have a signature goal celebration, but one that we saw him celebrating his goals with was the sliding goal celebration where he did it a few times mainly on the German national team.

Now stay tuned as in this section of Per Mertesacker biography we want to share some information about his life outside football.

Per Mertesacker outside Football

Mertesacker's autobiography entitled "World Champion Without Talent: My Life, My Career", written by Raphael Honigstein, was published in May 2018.

In partnership with his former SV Werder Bremen teammate Clemens Fritz, Mertesacker runs a real estate business.

Per Mertesacker Personal Life

In this section of Per Mertesacker biography, we want to take a deeper look into his personal life and share some information about

Per Mertesacker life story

and

Per Mertesacker religion

.

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Family, Children and Relationships

Per Mertesacker has been in a relationship with handball player Ulrike Stange since summer 2008. Their son was born on 24 April 2011. The couple married in June 2013 at Marienburg Castle in Mertesacker's hometown of Pattensen (Hanover region). He became father to another son on 20 May 2014.

In March 2018, Mertesacker caused a stir when he reported on the physical and mental stress reactions he experienced before every match day. Other professional athletes followed his example and also reported their stress symptoms.

Now stay tuned as in this section of Per Mertesacker biography we want to share some information about his charitable works.

Philanthropy

In November 2006, Mertesacker established the "Per Mertesacker Foundation". This foundation promotes the integration and sports training of socially disadvantaged young people and also supports people in need. Other celebrities such as comedian Oliver Pocher are represented on the foundation's board. To raise money, football jerseys and other items are auctioned on the internet. In addition, T-shirts with Mertesacker's portrait are offered by the label SpielRaum, the proceeds of which go to the foundation.

Furthermore, the Per Mertesacker Foundation regularly organizes a charity football match of celebrities. The first took place on 9 June 2007 between "Mertesacker & Friends" and the "Pocher Comedian Allstars" in Hanover's Rudolf Kalweit Stadium, followed by other matches in 2008 and 2009 (here against a Philipp Lahm selection team) and "Best of Mertesacker & Pocher" vs. "Friends of Robert Enke" (2011).

Legal Issues

As of the time of writing this article, there are no reports of any legal issues or disputes involving Per Mertesacker on the media.

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Per Mertesacker Career Statistics

In this section of Per Mertesacker biography, we will take a look at his career stats as a player on club and international level.

Club

In a rather short 15-years long football career between 2003 and 2018, Per Mertesacker has played a total of 518 matches in all competitions for his clubs, scoring 34 goals as a central defender. Of all these matches, he played 436 games for Werder Bremen and Arsenal.

International

Per Mertesacker has played a total of 104 matches for the German national team and is one of the most capped defenders in the history of Die Mannschaft.

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Per Mertesacker Honors

Of his notable club level titles and awards, we can include English FA Cup and FA Community Shield. He was also runner-ups in DFB Pokal and EFL Cup.

Per Mertesacker has won the 2014 World Cup with German national team.

He was also included in the 2007/08 kicker Bundesliga Team of the Season as a player of Werder Bremen.

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source: SportMob