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Mikel Arteta reveals guilt over what happened to his parents during his playing days

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has revealed what happened to his parents during his playing days, which has made him feel guilty about the situation

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta
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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has opened up about the lingering guilt he carries over his parents’ divorce during his playing career, acknowledging the impact it had on his personal life and career decisions.

The split between his parents, Llle-Heilen and Kalju Aru, occurred shortly after Arteta’s 24th birthday, leaving him devastated. In a bid to reconcile his family, Arteta made the difficult decision to leave Scottish club Rangers, where he had enjoyed a successful spell, and join La Liga side Real Sociedad in the summer of 2004.

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Despite his efforts, Arteta’s attempt to reunify his parents proved unsuccessful, leaving him with a lasting sense of responsibility and guilt. Reflecting on this period in a candid interview with BBC Sport, Arteta expressed remorse, stating, “I felt so guilty. I didn’t know if that was because of me and trying to pursue my dream. I feel very responsible for that.”

His time at Real Sociedad was short-lived, lasting barely six months before he returned to the UK, signing for Everton on deadline day in the 2005 January transfer window. Arteta’s move to Everton provided a sense of belonging and stability, with the midfielder expressing fond memories of his time at the club.


“Straight away, you connect with the team; you connect with the players; you connect with the staff; you connect with the supporters and it flows,” Arteta recalled. “And that feeling is needed. You feel confident, you feel excited every morning to get off your bed and go to training. I loved every minute.”

Now, as Arsenal manager, Arteta finds himself in a pivotal position in the Premier League title race. With Arsenal requiring a victory over Everton to keep their title hopes alive, Arteta remains focused on achieving success with the Gunners, having narrowly missed out on the title last season.

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