By 90Min
March 10, 2018

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has revealed the gut-wrenching nerves he sustains before every game, claiming he is inches away from vomiting as the seconds tick down. 

The 33-year-old, who moved to the Gunners in 2011 from German side Werder Bremen, has plenty of big game experience, holding a World Cup, three FA Cups, one German Cup and two Community Shield winners' medals to his name.

However, while speaking to news magazine Der Spiegel, as quoted by Sport Bild, the veteran insisted that no matter how many matches he plays, the build-up always consists of stomach-churning anxiety. 

"My stomach turns as if I had to vomit", Mertesacker said. "Then I have to choke so hard until my eyes water. As if what comes next, symbolically speaking, just sucks."

The defender went on to reveal that a small head turn side-to-side, not an uncommon sight before kick-off amongst players, helps shield his nervousness from others, although it does little for his nausea. 

However, the experienced guardian will, maybe happily, not have to put up with the tension pre-match for much longer, with him expected to hang up his boots at the end of this season. 

Following that, Mertesacker is to take over the Arsenal academy, where he will be attempting to guide the developing talent at the Emirates Stadium eventually into the first-team to feature under, for the time being at least, Arsene Wenger. 

“Per is an exceptional character who is a great example for young players”, the Frenchman told The Guardian ahead of this season when the German's future was announced. 

“He is a deep thinker about the game and committed to helping players fulfil their potential. He will be an inspirational figure for everyone connected with the academy.”

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