Twitter reacts to Per Mertesacker's big reveal about his mental health issues
Former Arsenal captain Per Mertesacker has recently had a candid interview with German publication Der Spiegel in which he revealed the mental battles he had gone through in his career.
When the German left Arsenal and called time on his career at the end of last season, fans had anticipated that he would take on the role of manager at the Arsenal Academy.
True to the predictions, the World Cup winner is now taking his first steps into management as he begins his role as Arsenal’s new academy manager from the start of the 2018/19 campaign.
During the interview with the magazine, the 33-year-old talked about the anxiety that he experienced from playing football.
“Some days you realize that everything is a burden, both physically and mentally… but you have to deliver without a doubt, even if you are injured,” former Germany international Mertesacker said.
“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,” he said.
“My body is finished,” Mertesacker said.
"Being in a career and going from highlight to highlight and playing a lot of matches you go through it and think it's normal when you play in front of 60,000 and you almost want to vomit in front of every game," he said
"It's not right playing these games to have that fear about what's going on with me. The fact that I actually felt better after saying 'I'm going to stop', I had less pain."
Since the interview, fans have taken to Twitter to support their BFG:
The Gunners have long been advocating for mental health, building pitches and partnering with Save the Children to create a football scheme for children.