Per Mertesacker has been made an honourary citizen of his hometown, Pattensen.
I’m not entirely sure how that differs from an ordinary citizen, but it seems to be a pretty big deal as the BFG was reportedly ‘visibly moved’ when being presented with the award.
Growing up in Pattensen, a small town with fewer than 14,000 citizens and under 10 miles from Hannover in Germany, Per attended school in the town and played for TSV Pattensen for seven years as a kid before he moved to Hannover 96 in 1995.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Arsenal vice-captain said “This moment is very close to me.”
Sadly, try as we might, we were unable to find any photographs from the ceremony but, from what I can gather from reports in the German press, the award was presented due to his World Cup winning exploits.