Arsenal star claims his body is finished, wants to spend rest of season sitting in the stands

Arsenal captain Per Mertesacker has claimed that his body “is finished” and he would rather prefer to “sit in the stand” as he approaches retirement. The World Cup winner who signed for the Gunners in 2011 has made more than 150 appearances for the North London side finally can no longer take “the burden” of playing professional football any more.

The German international has made only 12 appearances for Arsene Wenger’s side in the last couple of seasons. His last game was against Nottingham Forest when the Premier League side were knocked out of the competition despite the captain finding the back of the net.  

However, now he wants to “live free” – divulging all in a very honest interview.

'My body is finished,' Mertesacker revealed to Der Spiegel .

'Everyone says I should enjoy the last year, to play as much as possible and take everything in. I would rather sit on the bench or – even better – in the stands, and then, for the first time in my life, aged more than 30, I will feel free.

'Some days you realise that everything is a burden, both physically and mentally but you have to deliver without a doubt, even if you are injured.

'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.'

The 33-year-old is all set to dip his toes in the coaching world from next season. He will continue his association with Arsenal after agreeing to become the new academy manager from the start of next season.

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