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Per Mertesacker reveals how pre-match nerves terrorise him before every match

The Arsenal centre back spoke about what happens to him before a game it sounds truly awful

Everyone suffers from the pressure of performing on the biggest occasions.

Even before those Sunday league matches sometimes pre-match nerves can leave your legs wobbling like jelly just before the ball is kicked.

But nothing you have felt compares to the torment Per Mertesacker has revealed he goes through before every match.


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Mertesacker looking more and more like Wenger by the day

Carl Recine
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Mertesacker looking more and more like Wenger by the day

The World Cup winner told Der Spiegel what it is like for him with he pressure of match day and it sounds absolutely awful.

Although he stresses that it has never impacted his game, so none of you Arsenal fans can blame he decline on that.

Despite having played over 100 times for Germany and making more than 200 appearances for the Gunners, Mertesacker’s body is wrecked by the pressure of playing football every single game.

All fun and games now Per but what about match day

Getty - Contributor
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All fun and games now Per but what about match day

“My stomach turns as if I’m going to throw up, then I choke so much my eyes water,” said the big German, describing the moments just before kick off when he turns away from the cameras to hide it from his team mates and fans.

“This isn’t supposed to be whiny because I am obviously aware of the privileges of my life.”

And the lead up to the match itself left Mertesacker between the toilet and his team mates as hi went through final preparations.


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33 years young

Reuters
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33 years young

“I have to go directly to the bathroom from bed. From breakfast to the bathroom. From lunch to the bathroom. At the stadium to the bathroom again.

“Obviously you think ‘ah s***, hopefully nobody sees’. On the other hand, I was back to normal again immediately after, just like ‘bam, completely there.

“I don’t want to make it sound dramatic – it had no effect on my performance.”

We’ve seen this too many times since Mertesacker has been at Arsenal

Reuters
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We’ve seen this too many times since Mertesacker has been at Arsenal

It is quite remarkable that Mertesacker could be a complete bag of nerves all day before the game and even be at the point of choking just before the first ball is kicked and suddenly be fine as soon as the whistle goes.

It shows the resilience of the German that he has been able to control it during a game and he has since been a titan of the game.

With a likely retirement coming this summer and moving into the coaching team at Arsenal.

Never forget that Mertesacker proved you don’t need pace to be a class footballer.