Per Mertesacker's Perfect XI: "Ballack told me I was world class. I've never felt so good!"

Per Mertesacker Perfect XI, Arsenal
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Per Mertesacker established himself as a modern-day Arsenal legend during his seven years as a player with the Gunners, before becoming the manager of the team's academy post-retirement.

The defender also racked up over 200 Bundesliga games with Hannover 96 and Werder Bremen, as well as 104 caps for Germany.

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Leo Moynihan

Leo Moynihan has been a freelance football writer and author for over 20 years. As well as contributing to FourFourTwo for all of that time, his words have also appeared in The Times, the Sunday Telegraph, the Guardian, Esquire, FHM and the Radio Times. He has written a number of books on football, including ghost projects with the likes of David Beckham and Andrew Cole, while his last two books, The Three Kings and Thou Shall Not Pass have both been recognised by the Sunday Times Sports Book of the Year awards.