Mikel Arteta

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Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta (cropped).jpg
Arteta playing for Arsenal in 2012
Personal information
Full name Mikel Arteta Amatriain[1]
Date of birth (1982-03-26) 26 March 1982 (age 38)[2]
Place of birth San Sebastián, Spain
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)[3]
Playing position(s) Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Arsenal (head coach)
Youth career
1991–1997 Antiguoko
1997–1999 Barcelona
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1999 Barcelona C 5 (2)
1999–2002 Barcelona B 42 (3)
2001–2002Paris Saint-Germain (loan) 31 (2)
2002–2004 Rangers 50 (12)
2004–2005 Real Sociedad 15 (1)
2005Everton (loan) 12 (1)
2005–2011 Everton 162 (27)
2011–2016 Arsenal 110 (14)
Total 427 (62)
National team
1998–1999 Spain U16 10 (4)
1999 Spain U17 7 (0)
1999–2001 Spain U18 13 (1)
2002–2003 Spain U21 12 (2)
Teams managed
2016–2019 Manchester City (assistant)
2019– Arsenal
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Mikel Arteta Amatriain (born 26 March 1982), is a Spanish professional football coach and former player. He is currently the head coach of Premier League club Arsenal.

Born in San Sebastián, Arteta played as an attacking and defensive midfielder, and operated primarily as a playmaker. He was a youth player at Barcelona, but never featured for the first team, and made his senior debut as a loanee in Ligue 1 with Paris Saint-Germain in 2001. He signed for Scottish club Rangers in 2002, and won the domestic double of the Premier League and League Cup in his debut season. Following a brief stint with Real Sociedad, Arteta joined Everton on loan in 2005; he then signed permanently. He moved to Arsenal in 2011, where he won two FA Cups and served as captain from 2014, until his retirement in 2016. Arteta represented Spain through several youth levels, but never played for the senior national team.[4] After retiring from football, Arteta immediately moved to coaching. He joined Manchester City, as assistant head coach to Pep Guardiola, in 2016. In 2019, he returned to Arsenal as head coach and won the FA Cup within his first season.[5][6]

Playing career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Born in San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa, Basque Country, Arteta began his football career at Antiguoko[7] and befriended fellow midfielder Xabi Alonso as they played together every weekend. The two often played along the beaches and gutters of San Sebastián and dreamed of playing together at Real Sociedad.

Club career[edit]

Arteta left for the FC Barcelona B squad at 15 years of age while Alonso signed for Real Sociedad later.[8] Despite his potential Arteta failed to break into the first team, and went out on loan to French club Paris Saint-Germain in December 2000. During a season and a half in Paris, Arteta was used by manager Luis Fernández primarily as a playmaker. He made his first appearances in the UEFA Champions League in the 2000–01 second group stage. PSG wanted to keep Arteta at the end of the loan period, and did have a 'buy first' option. However Arteta was signed by Rangers in March 2002, after the Scottish club made a more financially impressive offer to Barcelona,[9] although he remained with PSG until the end of the 2001–02 season.[citation needed]


Arteta signed for Scottish club Rangers in March 2002 in a £6 million transfer deal.[10] He enjoyed a successful first season in Glasgow and quickly established himself as a first-team regular. Highlights were scoring on his Old Firm debut,[11] and converting a late penalty on the final day of the 2002–03 season, which proved vital for goal difference[12] as Rangers completed the domestic treble of the Scottish Premier League title, Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup (Arteta was injured shortly before the 2003 Scottish Cup Final and missed the match).[13]

Arteta started his second and final season with Rangers in excellent form, scoring six goals in the first six games of the season[14] as the club qualified for the Champions League group stages, although they did not qualify from that group and ended the campaign without a trophy. Arteta returned to Spain after two seasons in Glasgow; he later credited his spell at Rangers as helping him develop as a player, stating "Scottish football was tough, really tough. It was really physical, people got at you and I had to improve on that a lot. I think I did that to get to the level that the Premier League required of me."[15]

Real Sociedad[edit]

He joined Real Sociedad for €5.2 million in 2004 with the idea being that Arteta and Xabi Alonso could play together. However, Alonso left for Liverpool and Arteta failed to establish himself in the team,[8] starting only three league matches in the half-season he spent back in San Sebastián.[16]


Arteta (right) playing for Everton in 2008

Everton manager David Moyes signed Arteta in the 2005 January transfer window on loan with a view to a permanent transfer. Seen as a replacement for Danish midfielder Thomas Gravesen who had moved to Real Madrid,[17] Arteta played a vital part in helping Everton achieve the possibility of qualifying for the Champions League when they finished fourth in the Premier League; however, they were knocked out by Villarreal in the last qualifying round.[8] He scored his first Everton goal in a 4–0 victory over Crystal Palace,[18] and signed a permanent five-year deal in July 2005 for a fee of £2 million.[19]

The 2005–06 season saw Arteta pick up both the Everton Fans' Player of the Season and the Players' Player of the Season awards.[3] Arteta's good form extended into 2006–07. As well as retaining his starting place, he frequently turned in man-of-the-match displays, and finished the season with nine goals from the 35 league games he played. Arteta was awarded the Player of the Season Award for the second consecutive year.[3] He was also voted the Premier League's 'Midfielder of the Year' by the viewers of Sky Sports, beating PFA Players' Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo.[20]

Arteta's creativity was an essential part of Everton's attacking play the following season,[citation needed] and he had scored six goals by the end of January.[21] That improved further a season later, with Arteta scoring nine times in the 2006–07 season and once again ending the season as the Player of the Year. He helped Everton secure a place in the UEFA Cup and was ranked by the ACTIM Index as the sixth best player in the Premier League, but it did not earn him a call-up into the full Spain squad.[21] During the summer of 2007, he signed a new five-year contract.[21]

Arteta added another accolade to his growing collection during the 2007–08 season, when he picked up the North West Footballer of the Year award. He then became the first Everton player in five years to receive the Liverpool Echo's Sports Personality of the Year award in January 2008.[citation needed]

Arteta playing for Everton in 2011

Arteta suffered a stomach injury in the second half of the season, and shortly before the final game of the campaign, he underwent surgery to rectify the problem.[21] He scored his first goal of the 2008–09 season in the Premier League opener versus Blackburn Rovers with a free kick. He was named captain for a 2–2 draw with Newcastle United, scoring a penalty in the game. In February, Arteta was carried off on a stretcher in a 0–0 draw with Newcastle having injured a ligament in his knee, days after his first inclusion in the Spanish national team squad. The injury kept him out for the rest of the 2008–09 season and the first five months of 2009–10. Over the course of the season, Arteta began to play again in the centre of the field, usually being partnered with a defensive midfielder, giving him the freedom to dictate the tempo of the game and connecting with Pienaar and Osman on the wing.[citation needed]

Arteta made his return from injury in January 2010 as a substitute in an FA Cup tie against Birmingham City, before starting in a 2–1 home Premier League win against Chelsea. His first two goals of the season were scored in a 5–1 win over Hull City in March 2010. In August that year, he signed a five-year contract extension with Everton.[22]

The 2010–11 season proved to be not as successful as expected for both the team and the player. After early goals in the season, against Manchester United in a thriller 3–3 comeback at Goodison Park, and in a 2–0 win in the Merseyside derby, Arteta suffered a loss of form that would be crucial in Everton's push for a European spot. He began to show again glimpses of creative power in the final part of the season, when he was played again on the wing, enjoying more freedom and space.[citation needed]

Upon departing Everton, Arteta said "I am 29 years old so I haven't got much time left to take a chance like this one. I have done my best for Everton."[23] A few weeks later, he stated that the spirit in Everton's dressing room is the 'best in football'.[24]


Arteta playing for Arsenal in 2011

Arteta signed with Arsenal on 31 August 2011 on a four-year deal for a reported fee of £10 million.[25] He made his debut on 10 September in a 1–0 home win against Swansea City,[26] and scored his first Premier League goal for Arsenal in a 4–3 loss against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.[27] Arteta got his first chance to captain the Gunners in the third-round FA Cup victory over Leeds United, a game in that marked the second Arsenal debut of Thierry Henry. Arteta suffered an ankle sprain in his side's 2–1 loss to Wigan Athletic on 16 April after less than ten minutes, which sidelined him for the remainder of the season.[28] Despite this he made 29 appearances all season, scoring 6 times, and was voted by the fans as the fifth most important player of the 2011–12 campaign in Arsenal's Player of the Season poll.[29]

Arteta playing for Arsenal in 2012

Following the departure of captain Robin van Persie, Arteta was made Arsenal's vice-captain for the 2012–13 season.[30] He was voted by the fans as the fourth best player of the 2012–13 campaign in Arsenal's Player of the Season poll, after leading the team to their 17th consecutive top four finish. He missed the beginning of 2013–14 due to injury, but returned to the squad by the end of September,[31] going on to score and be sent off in the same match, a 2–0 win away to Crystal Palace in October.[32] Arsenal reached the 2014 FA Cup Final, with Arteta scoring against former club Everton in the quarter-final, as well as in the semi-final shootout against Wigan Athletic.[33][34] Arteta captained the side for the final at Wembley, leading them to a 3–2 win against Hull City and receiving his first major honour in English football.[35]

Arteta became Arsenal's new club captain ahead of the 2014–15 season.[36][37] He won his first trophy as full-time captain, playing the full 90 minutes as Arsenal beat Manchester City 3–0 in the 2014 FA Community Shield.[37][38] Despite his new appointment, he would only make 11 appearances for the whole season, scoring once. Arteta signed a one-year extension with Arsenal for the 2015–16 season[39] and came on as a substitute as Arsenal beat Chelsea 1–0 to win the 2015 FA Community Shield,[40] his first competitive appearance for the club since November 2014. His final game for Arsenal came on the last day of the season. Arteta came on as a substitute and forced Aston Villa goalkeeper Mark Bunn into scoring an own goal after his shot went off the crossbar. He received a standing ovation from the crowd at full time.[citation needed]

International career[edit]

Arteta played for Spain at youth level. He played in the victorious 1999 UEFA European Under-16 Championship campaign,[41] at the 1999 UEFA–CAF Meridian Cup, 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship, and captained the side in the 2004 U21 European Championships qualifying campaign.[citation needed] In 2010, there were moves by the English FA and Fabio Capello to see if Arteta could represent England, believing he qualified under FIFA's five-year residency rule. FIFA ruled this out, however,[42] with Arteta claiming in an interview in 2016 that he "almost went to war with FIFA" over the ruling.[43]

Arteta was believed to be in the Spanish squad in February 2009 but a cruciate knee ligament injury meant his name was removed from the list before the squad was announced.[44]

Arteta played at a time when Spain had several enormously high quality players available in his position.[45][46][47]

Style of play[edit]

Arteta taking a corner kick for Arsenal in 2011

While Arteta initially started out playing as a number 10 in the Barcelona youth system, he was later shifted to the position of a "pivot" or defensive midfielder, as he was thought to be a player in the mould of Pep Guardiola;[48] it was only since being moved back to a more attacking midfield role, by Luis Fernandez at PSG,[9] that Arteta truly began to flourish. He was rated as the sixth most effective player in the Premier League in 2006–07 by the official player ratings system the Actim Index. Arteta returned to his original deeper midfield role at Arsenal.[49] in which he excelled as his team's playmaker, due to his technique, skill, vision, passing, awareness, and tactical intelligence.[50][51][52][53] His total of 12 league assists in the 2006–07 season was third to Cesc Fàbregas and Cristiano Ronaldo.[54] With 100 fouls committed against him in the same season, he was the most fouled player in the Premier League.[55]

Coaching career[edit]

“I really get on with Mikel. He’s always right. He’s a very good person, and a great coach. He has given me loads of advice. We speak a lot about my movements, how to run into the spaces behind the defence, what I should do with the ball and the specific moment to change my speed. He’s always there for me.”

Leroy Sane on Arteta's coaching during their time at Man City[56]

Arteta had three options upon retirement. He was offered to lead the Arsenal Academy, by Arsène Wenger, join Mauricio Pochettino's (his team-mate from PSG) backroom staff or join Pep Guardiola's coaching team at Manchester City. On 3 July 2016, Arteta was appointed an assistant coach at Manchester City,[57] alongside Brian Kidd and Domènec Torrent, who operated as deputies to Pep Guardiola.

Guardiola and Arteta first met at the Barcelona academy, although Guardiola was already established in the first team, being 11 years older than Arteta. Since then the two kept in touch. Guardiola was convinced Arteta – who was an Arsenal player at the time – would make a good coach when he called him to get information on Chelsea, prior to their 2012 Champions League semifinals against Barcelona.

In 2015, when Guardiola was exiting Bayern Munich, Arteta, in his final year as a player, re-connected and decided to work together.[58] Arteta stood in as Man City manager in a 2–1 Champions League loss against Lyon on 19 September 2018, because of Guardiola's touchline ban.[59] At Man City, Arteta won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, and two EFL Cups. In 2018, Arteta became strongly linked with the Arsenal manager's vacancy, following the departure of his former manager Arsène Wenger, but Unai Emery was eventually hired.[60][61]


On 20 December 2019, Arteta was appointed head coach at former club Arsenal, signing a deal until 2023.[62][63] Upon his appointment, he stated that he believed the club had lost direction and that he didn't want players to shirk responsibility: "I want people to take responsibility for their jobs and I want people who deliver passion and energy in the football club. Anyone who doesn’t buy into this, or that has a negative effect or whatever, is not good enough for this environment or this culture.”[64]

On 26 December 2019, Arteta walked out of the dugout for the first time as an Arsenal manager for their Premier League match against Bournemouth which ended in a 1–1 draw, thanks to a second half equaliser from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Although a 1–1 draw was not the start the Spaniard would have dreamed of, he later said that he was pleased with attitude, passion and the fighting spirit of his players.[65] On 1 January 2020, Arteta won his first match as an Arsenal manager after a 2–0 win over Manchester United at the Emirates.[66]

On 18 July 2020, Arsenal beat Arteta's former employer Manchester City 2–0 in the FA Cup semi-final, leading Arsenal to their fourth FA Cup Final in seven years, and Arteta's first as a manager. Arsenal went on to win the final 2–1 over Chelsea for a record 14th victory, making Arteta the first person to win the FA Cup as both captain and manager of Arsenal.[67] Moreover, he became the first manager to win a major trophy in his first season in charge of the club since George Graham in 1986-87.[68]

Personal life[edit]

Arteta is multilingual, and is fluent in Spanish, Basque, Catalan and English. He speaks some French, Italian and Portuguese.[69]

He is married to the Argentine-Spanish actress, television host, and model Lorena Bernal. The couple have three children: Gabriel (born 2009), Daniel (born 2012) and Oliver (born 2015).[70][71]

Career statistics[edit]


Club Season League Cup1 Europe Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Barcelona B 1999–2000 Segunda División B 26 1 26 1
2000–01 16 2 16 2
Total 42 3 42 3
Paris Saint-Germain 2000–01 French Division 1 6 1 1 0 4 0 11 1
2001–02 25 1 7 2 10 1 42 4
Total 31 2 8 2 14 1 53 5
Rangers 2002–03 Scottish Premier League 27 4 7 1 1 0 35 5
2003–04 23 8 4 0 6 1 33 9
Total 50 12 11 1 7 1 68 14
Real Sociedad 2004–05 La Liga 15 1 2 0 17 1
Everton 2004–05[2] Premier League 12 1 1 0 13 1
2005–06[2] 29 1 5 1 3 1 37 3
2006–07[2] 35 9 4 0 39 9
2007–08[2] 28 1 2 0 7 3 37 4
2008–09[2] 26 6 3 1 2 0 31 7
2009–10[2] 13 6 1 0 2 0 16 6
2010–11[2] 29 3 4 0 33 3
2011–12[2] 2 1 1 1 3 2
Total 174 28 21 3 14 4 209 35
Arsenal 2011–12[2] Premier League 29 6 3 0 6 0 38 6
2012–13[2] 34 6 2 0 7 0 43 6
2013–14[2] 31 2 6 1 6 0 43 3
2014–15[2] 7 0 1 0 4 1 12 1
2015–16[2] 9 0 4 0 1 0 14 0
Total 110 14 16 1 24 1 150 16
Career total 422 60 58 7 59 7 539 74

Managerial record[edit]

As of match played 1 August 2020
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record Ref.
P W D L Win %
Arsenal 20 December 2019 Present 28 16 6 6 057.14 [73]
Total 28 16 6 6 057.14



Paris Saint-Germain



Spain U16

Spain U18





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External links[edit]