|Date of birth:||
September 29, 1984
Per Mertesacker (German pronunciation: [ˈpeːɐ̯ ˈmɛʁtəsʔakɐ]; born 29 September 1984) is a German professional footballer who plays as a centre back for Premier League club Arsenal. He also played for the Germany national team but retired in August 2014 after winning the World Cup. Mertesacker is a youth product of Hannover 96 and he made his senior league debut in November 2003. He was soon dubbed "the Defence Pole" ("die Abwehrlatte") by German tabloids and gained a reputation for his good disciplinary record, going 31 Bundesliga games without being booked. Since joining Arsenal, their fans have nicknamed him "the BFG", which is short for "Big F*ck**g German" and an allusion to Roald Dahl's The BFG due to his height. He has been described as an imposing, reliable, dominant and an accomplished defender.