«Before the games it seems that I’m going to throw up …»

Per Mertesacker, the 33-year-old German international, Arsenal player, has already announced the end of his career towards the end of this season and, in an interview with Der Spiegel magazine, tells how football is causing him anxiety and affecting his health – who has not played since January, in a Cup meeting, against Nottingham Forest.

“My body is finished,” the German confides, explaining: “Everyone says that I should enjoy this last year, play as much as possible, but I prefer to stay on the bench or, better yet, on the bench. When I retire, I’ll finally feel free. ”

Mertesacker confesses that he lost his passion and that adrenaline before the games is not good, nor ever was. “There are days when we realize that it is a burden, physically and mentally. But we have to do our best, even if we are injured. There are times, before the games where my stomach goes around and looks like I’m going to throw up. I force myself to stand and tears come to my eyes. ”

And this sensation has apparently been with the center for some time, since it resembles a moment in the 2006 World Cup in Germany when he was only 21: “When we lost the semi-final to Italy, I was disappointed, of course. But above all, he was relieved. I remember it as if it were today and I thought, ‘It’s over, it’s finally over.’ ”

However, the German does not regret the life he followed. “Even if I had to throw up before the games and go 20 times to recover, I would do it all over again. Thanks for the memories. »

And in the same interview, he left a tip for the young: “Do not just focus on football. Study, diversify your lives. “

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Michael Freeman

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