• Antje Windmann, Der Spiegel

For the first time ever a world famous active football player talks in depth about the dark side of his profession; the fears, the doubts, the pressure. Per Mertesacker, captain of Arsenal and World Cup champion of 2014, opens up to Spiegel journalist Antje Windmann and walks her through the seconds before each kick-off, being surrounded by tens of thousands spectators knowing that just once thing counts: his performance. "My stomach starts churning and I feel like I'm going to throw up. Then I have to choke so hard that I tear up." He always turns his head to the side with his chin facing his shoulder so that no one can see what is happening - no TV cameras, no coaches, no teammates. The piece illustrates what it means to be trapped in an unending cycle of training, games and extraordinary expectations. To always be the player and never the person behind the jersey. Antje Windmann’s story “Der Mensch im Trikot” was quoted all over the world and led to massive discussions on how the media, the audience and the business itself perceive sport stars.


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