Arteta playing for Arsenal in 2011
|Full name||Mikel Arteta Amatriain|
|Date of birth||26 March 1982|
|Place of birth||San Sebastián, Spain|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Manchester City (joint-assistant coach)|
|2001–2002||→ Paris Saint-Germain (loan)||31||(2)|
|2005||→ Everton (loan)||12||(1)|
|2016–||Manchester City (assistant)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Mikel Arteta Amatriain (Spanish pronunciation: [miˈkel arˈteta aˈmatɾjain]; born 26 March 1982) is a retired Spanish professional footballer who played as a midfielder. He is currently an assistant coach of Manchester City.
Arteta started out as a trainee with FC Barcelona but could not break his way into the first team and was eventually loaned to Paris Saint-Germain in the French league. He was then signed by Scottish Premier League club Rangers with whom he would win the domestic treble of the league, Scottish Cup and League Cup in the season of 2002–03. After success in Scotland, Arteta moved back to Spain and to his Basque roots to play for Real Sociedad but failed to establish himself within the first team and was loaned to Everton for the remainder of the 2004–05 season, prior to signing permanently in July 2005. He then made a permanent transfer to Arsenal in 2011, and was appointed captain of the club in August 2014. Arteta won two FA Cups and two FA Community Shields with Arsenal, before his contract expired at the end of the 2015–16 season.
Born in San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa, Basque Country, Arteta began his football career at Antiguoko and befriended fellow midfielder Xabi Alonso as they would play together every weekend. The two would often play along the beaches and gutters of San Sebastián and dreamed of playing together at Real Sociedad. Arteta left for the FC Barcelona B squad at 15 years of age while Alonso signed for Real Sociedad later. 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 Fernandez 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 (although he remained with PSG until the end of the 2001–02 season).
Arteta signed for Scottish club Rangers in March 2002 in a £6 million transfer deal. He enjoyed a successful first season in Glasgow and quickly established himself as a first team regular and a fans' favourite. Highlights were scoring on his Old Firm debut, and converting a late penalty on the final day which proved vital for goal difference as Rangers completed the domestic treble of the Scottish Premier League title as well as the Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup. However Arteta was injured shortly before the 2003 Scottish Cup Final and missed the match.
Arteta started his second and final season with Rangers in excellent form, scoring six goals in Rangers' first six games of the season as they successfully qualified for the Champions League group stages. However, the club finished empty-handed as Celtic won the league and Scottish Cup. He returned to Spain after two seasons in Glasgow. Arteta 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."
He joined Real Sociedad for €5.2 million in 2004 with the idea of Arteta and Xabi Alonso playing together. However, Alonso left for Liverpool and Arteta failed to establish himself in the team, starting only three league matches in the half-season he spent back in San Sebastián.
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, 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. He scored his first Everton goal in a 4–0 victory over Crystal Palace, and signed a permanent five-year deal in July 2005 for a fee of £2 million.
The 2005–06 season saw Arteta pick up both the Everton Fans' Player of the Season and the Players' Player of the Season awards. 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. He was also voted the Premiership's 'Midfielder of the Year' by the readers of Sky Sports, beating PFA Players' Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo.
Arteta's creativity was an essential part of Everton's attacking play the following season, and he had scored six goals by the end of January. 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 Premiership, but it did not earn him a call-up into the full Spain squad. During the summer of 2007, he signed a new five-year contract.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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 the Merseyside Derby 2–0 victory, 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.
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." A few weeks later, he revealed to the Liverpool Echo that the spirit in Everton's dressing room is the 'best in football'.
Arteta signed with Arsenal on 31 August 2011 on a four-year deal for a reported fee of £10 million. He made his debut on 10 September in a 1–0 home win against Swansea City, and scored his first Premier League goal for Arsenal in a 4–3 loss against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park. 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. 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.
Following the departure of captain Robin van Persie, Arteta was made Arsenal's vice-captain for the 2012-13 season. 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, going on to score and be sent off in the same match, a 2-0 win away to Crystal Palace in October. Arsenal reached the 2014 FA Cup final, with Arteta scoring against former club Everton in the quarter-final, as well is in the semi-final shootout against Wigan Athletic. 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.
Arteta became Arsenal's new club captain ahead of the 2014-15 season. 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. 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 2015-16 and came on as a substitute as Arsenal beat Chelsea 1–0 to win the 2015 FA Community Shield, 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.
Arteta was eligible for the Spanish national team. He played for his country at Under-16, Under-17, Under-18 and Under-21 levels but did not play for the senior international team. He represented Spain in the 1999 UEFA European Under-16 Championship, 1999 UEFA–CAF Meridian Cup, and 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship, and captained the side in the 2004 U21 European Championships qualifying campaign.
In August 2010, several British news organisations erroneously reported that Arteta would be eligible to play for the England national football team due to his eligibility for a British passport. The player was not eligible for England because FIFA statutes stipulated that the player had to hold a British passport at the time of representing Spain at the U16 European Championships, and, in addition, he would have required five years of education in Britain before turning 18.
Style of play
While initially thought of as a "pivot" or defensive midfielder in the mould of his hero Pep Guardiola, it was only since being moved to a more attacking role, first by Luis Fernandez at PSG, then by David Moyes at Everton, that Arteta's career truly began to flourish. Although he achieved moderate success from central midfield with PSG and Rangers, his move to a more attacking role saw him rated as the sixth most effective player in the Premier League in 2006–07 by the official player ratings system the Actim Index.
He was an extremely potent creative force thanks mainly to his pinpoint crossing ability and propensity for the killer pass, with his total of 12 league assists in the 2006–07 season being third to Cesc Fàbregas and Cristiano Ronaldo.
- As of match played 8 May 2016
- Paris Saint-Germain
- Spain Youth
- Scottish Premier League Young Player of the Month: September 2002, August 2003
- Everton Player of the Season: 2005–06, 2006–07
- Everton Players' Player of the Season: 2005–06
- Sky Sports Midfielder of the Year: 2006–07
- North West Player of the Year: 2006–07
Arteta's wife is the former Miss Spain Lorena Bernal. with whom he has three sons, Gabriel, Daniel and Oliver. He is close friends with Xabi Alonso. The two used to be neighbours at Liverpool's Albert Dock apartment complex.
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