Per Mertesacker - Germany

Soccer Starz

Position: DEFENDER
Season: 2013-2014

In September 2004, Jürgen Klinsmann, then-manager of Germany, called Mertesacker up to the 9 October 2004 game against Iran. He made his debut less than two weeks after his twentieth birthday when he came on as a second-half substitute for Christian Wörns.

With his quiet but effective game, he established himself as Germany's first choice centre- back, pairing up with Robert Huth, Christoph Metzelder, and later, Heiko Westermann.

Mertesacker was soon dubbed "the Defence Pole" by German tabloids and gained reputation for his good disciplinary record and went 31 Bundesliga games without being booked.At 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in), Mertesacker is commanding in the air but he is also sound in defending on the ground. He often uses his strength to shrug opponents off the ball and his standing tackling ability to win balls. Question marks have been raised about his speed,but he compensates for his lack of pace by his excellent positional play and anticipation.

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