Spaniard had other sports on his mind instead.
Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta has revealed that he almost turned his back on a career in football to pursue another life long passion instead – tennis.
Speaking with the Mirror the Spanish ace confessed that he would have gladly followed a career in tennis had he not been so blessed on the pitch and he now hopes that he made the right decision.
“I was a really good tennis player when I was young,” said the ex-Everton and Rangers maestro.
“At some stage I had to choose whether I would be a professional tennis player or a professional football player.
“Hopefully I made the right choice.”
Arteta had been missing for the early stages of the season but continued his ongoing rehabilitation on Saturday when he came on as a substitute for the Gunners in their 2-1 victory over Swansea City.
He also declared that in a career that has seen him ply his trade in the Premier League, the SPL and La Liga, that former-Barcelona playmaker Ronaldinho was the best he has ever played alongside, after spending some time together while Arteta was at Paris Saint Germain.
“Some of his tricks, his techniques, his natural ability to dominate the ball was like nothing for him, but for us they were impossible.
“We’d be trying for hours but couldn’t manage to do it.”