Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has revealed how he managed to avoid national service in Germany.
The 6ft 6in centre-back, commonly known as the Big Friendly German, has explained how he wrote in and asked for special dispensation due to his large frame – he couldn’t fit in a tank or submarine – and that he did not want t0 be on contact with weapons.
Strangely enough it worked, and the German World Cup winner did civilian service instead, which consisted of working in a clinic for patients with mental illness.
And Mertesacker also admits it turned him in to the person he is today, insisting: “It was very memorable to go from one world to the other. It kept me grounded and humble, coming from this glamorous football world, and would help me to grow as a person.It had a big impact on my life.”
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