English Premiership

Per: How I made it

2015-01-09 11:50
Per Mertesacker (Supplied)

Cape Town - Per Mertesacker believes his grounded upbringing was vital in forging a career at the top level.

The German defender came through the ranks at Hannover 96 and made his debut for the Bundesliga side as a 19-year-old.

Mertesacker studied alongside playing football and says a subconscious belief in his ability helped when a first-team opportunity presented itself.

“I was not the big talent, so I kept football as a hobby,” he told Arsenal Player. “The motivation was always to be fit and involved in a team, and not more - not to be a professional one day, not to be that keen on doing well every day.

“It was more fun for me, and that was good for me. It kept me grounded and very quiet.

“I took it as a hobby but I kept the belief inside me subconsciously and that was the key. No one went crazy when there was a defeat, no one went crazy when they said maybe I wasn’t good enough and went to the second team.

“That was very good for me. I stayed quiet and waited for the right moment, when I was 17 or 18.

“It’s all about opportunities and a bit of luck. It went so well for me.

“I needed a few injuries to some senior players to get to my first pre-season in the first team, and then some game time that was broadcasted on television. I did well then.

“You have to take that opportunity. It’s not only to get that, it’s to take it as well and perform solidly.

“That’s the key at that stage. I told myself it was now or never and I decided to take [the chance]. I could never predict that so many highlights would follow.”


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

29 October 2016
Sunderland v Arsenal, Stadium of Light 13:30
Manchester United v Burnley, Old Trafford 16:00
Middlesbrough v Bournemouth, Riverside Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v Hull City, Vicarage Road 16:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City, White Hart Lane 16:00
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 18:30
30 October 2016
Everton v West Ham United, Goodison Park 15:30
Southampton v Chelsea, St. Mary's Stadium 18:00
31 October 2016
Stoke City v Swansea City, Britannia Stadium 22:00
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2016/17 season?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.