One year ago, on September 29th 2013 - which was your 29th birthday -, I wished for you to have a successful year, considering that 29 has always been your lucky number. Back then, I couldn’t possibly have known how successful you’d actually be: You have won the FA Cup with Arsenal, the first trophy after a nine year trophy drought for the club; it has been the first title you have actively helped winning as a professional player. You have become a second-time-dad. You have become World Champion with the German National Team; after being a part of this team, this family, for ten years, playing 104 caps and scoring 4 goals, it has been the well deserved highlight of highlights you have always dreamt of. You have managed to go down in history by giving the interview of the century; now that you have decided to retire from international football, you will thus not only be remembered as the embodiment of team spirit, but also as a genuine, emotional and protective leader. After all, there’s a reason why you’re not only the Big Friendly
Giraffe Giant, but also the Big Fucking German. You have also been - rightly - named vice captain of Arsenal, the club you have swooned about since you were a little boy.
Despite the fact that I will miss watching you wear #17 on your back, it’ll be a pleasure cheering for you wearing #4 only from now on. May the next year be a successful one too; don’t forget that you have just entered the “old man squad” - and that football players like you are like fine wine. ;)
I have said these things so many times before, have posted so many edits, so all that’s left to say is: I wish you just the best. No matter what happens, you’ll always be my favorite player (also known as: hugging champ, dancing king, one of the biggest and dorkiest bromance masters of all times).
Happy 30th birthday, Per Mertesacker!