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.

Sami Khedira, goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler, Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski, from left, celebrate on the stage after the arrival of the German national soccer team in Berlin Tuesday, July 15, 2014. Germany beat Argentina 1-0 on Sunday to win its fourth World Cup title.  (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Sami Khedira, goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler, Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski, from left, celebrate on the stage after the arrival of the German national soccer team in Berlin Tuesday, July 15, 2014. Germany beat Argentina 1-0 on Sunday to win its fourth World Cup title. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
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