Mikel Arteta brought the curtain down on his Arsenal playing career after admitting he felt he was no longer good enough.
The 34-year-old moved to the Emirates Stadium in 2011 but is now ’99 per cent’ retired from the game – with a coaching role likely to be his next step.
“It is very hard to stop but I wanted to leave it… I wanted to decide and I thought for the last few months I wasn’t good enough to represent this club on the pitch,” the Spaniard said.
“You have to accept it. It’s been a long time to be playing football and I didn’t want to cheat them or anyone. It is time.”
“For me, the standards you need to play for this club, it cannot be eight out of 10, it has to be 10 out of 10. When you cannot deliver that, it is not good enough.”