Arsenal boss reveals how heart surgery at age two shaped his football career



Footage from the trailer for Amazon Prime's new documentary about Arsenal shows 40-year-old Arteta, who is seen on a team talking about his players receiving life-saving surgery at the age of two. Arteta spoke about him on Thursday ahead of the release of the All Or Nothing series, saying, "I've never opened up to anyone like that," I think 90% of the guys or staff wouldn't know about that issue. But right before that moment, I felt like this was nothing I had planned. Arteta made 150 appearances for the Gunners between 2011 and 2016, a former Arsenal captain, before spending six years at Everton".



Earlier in his career, he played for two years for Scottish Premiership side Rangers before joining Real Sociedad in 2004. But becoming a professional footballer was not always on the cards for the Spaniard, who was told at an early age by doctors that he would not be able to exercise much due to his heart condition. "I was born with a major heart issue that they couldn't solve until I was two years old because I was too young," Arteta explained. He had to open my heart and go through it. It was one of the first surgeries of this kind in Spain, so we had no idea how it would end. "I was a really lively kid, the doctor telling my father and mother that he needed to calm down, that he wouldn't be able to exercise much with that problem."



Arteta's side came into the limelight after Arsenal lost their opening three Premier League games last season - a run that included a 5-0 defeat at Manchester City. Before the Gunners' next match, at home to Norwich promotion, in the documentary teaser, Arteta attempts to motivate his players by comparing his players to the high-performing medical teams that saved their lives.


"They are ready to work 24/7. They only do it for one reason - because they love what they do. That's their campaign, that's their purpose," he can be heard saying in the trailer. Arteta was able to pursue his love of football thanks to the medical staff who performed his surgery 38 years ago, and he believes the procedure encouraged him to pursue his dreams. "Everything developed in a normal way, and I was able to fulfill my dream of becoming a professional footballer," he said.



If the veteran shaped him as a youngster, he said: "I think it happened.

"When I was little, I was told you can't do this; you can't expose yourself so much, we can't push you to the limit of your heart's capacity.


"I was always pushing myself to the limit.

My parents' support was great, and then they dared to seek out the best possible specialist - and those experts always dared to push those odds a little further because they could see how important it was to me. "


Arsenal, who finished fifth in the Premier League last season, is the third English team to participate in Amazon Prime's fly-on-the-wall documentary series after Manchester City and Tottenham.



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