The 6 players to win the World Cup while playing for Arsenal

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Germany's Per Mertesacker (centre) and Germany's Mesut Ozil (left) celebrate winning the World Cup after during the FIFA World Cup Final at the Estadio do Maracana, Rio de Janerio, Brazil. Arsenal.

Arsenal have no shortage of players at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. 

The likes of William Saliba (France), Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus (Brazil), Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White and Bukayo Saka (England) will all be hoping to return to the Emirates in December with the biggest honour in football under their belt.

They’re aiming to emulate some legendary Arsenal players that won the World Cup while representing the club. Here are the Gunners’ six World Cup-winning players.

Emmanuel Petit

The midfielder had reunited with his old boss at Monaco, Arsene Wenger, in the summer of 1997.

Petit then went on to enjoy the best year of his career, starring as a key player in the Gunners’ brilliant Premier League and FA Cup double before lifting the World Cup with Les Bleus at the end of the campaign.

“I have long experience. I’ve known players who’ve won the World Cup who in November had no chance to go to the World Cup,” recalled Arsene Wenger in 2018.

“I remember Petit in 1998, he made it in March, April, May, and was one of main players at the World Cup.”

That’s certainly one way of putting it, with Petit scoring France’s third goal of their 3-0 win in the final against Brazil one of the iconic images of that World Cup.

Patrick Vieira

Petit was one of two Gunners to lift the World Cup on home soil in 1998.

Vieira arrived at Highbury a year earlier than Petit, and actually predated Wenger by a couple of months – although he always knew that his compatriot would follow, and has admitted that was the factor in him joining.

Unlike Petit, Vieira wasn’t a guaranteed starter for France at the World Cup. He came on for the final 15 minutes of the final against Brazil, replacing Youri Djorkaeff to help see out their lead following the dismissal of Marcel Desailly.

Cesc Fabregas

La Masia academy graduate Fabregas arrived at Arsenal as a teenager, making his Gunners debut as a 16-year-old back in 2003.

By 2010 he’d developed into one of the world’s best midfielders, a claim he underlined by assisting Andres Iniesta’s iconic winning goal in the 2010 World Cup final against the Netherlands.

During Spain’s celebrations, he was controversially forced into a Barcelona shirt by Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol, a clip that went down like a lead balloon in north London.

Fabregas remained at the Emirates for one more season following the World Cup, eventually making the world’s most predictable transfer in the summer of 2011.

Per Mertesacker

The towering centre-back had already been a regular in Germany’s international squads for seven years by the time he joined Arsenal from Werder Bremen in 2011.

Mertesacker would prove to be one of the best centre-backs of the post-Invincibles era at Arsenal, having formed a solid partnership with Laurent Koscielny and shone in the FA Cup triumphs of 2014, 2015 and 2017.

2014 proved to be a great summer for the BFG, having followed up FA Cup success at Wembley by lifting the World Cup with Die Mannschaft.

Jogi Loew had opted for Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng to keep out Lionel Messi’s Argentina, but Mertesacker was brought on in the final minute of extra-time to see the 1-0 victory out.

Mesut Ozil

The man Mertesacker replaced in the 120th minute that night at the Maracana was none other than his Gunners team-mate Ozil. The mercurial playmaker played a more active role in Germany’s 2014 World Cup win.

Ozil’s time at the Emirates fizzled out sadly in the end, but few signings in history were as hyped as his move from Real Madrid in 2013. And after one year, Ozil was living up to the hype, helping the Gunners end their nine-year trophy drought before demonstrating his class on the biggest stage of all.

Lukas Podolski

Prince Poldi scored 49 goals in 130 appearances for Germany. He made his debut in 2004 and by the time they hosted the tournament in 2006 had established himself as one of the most exciting young talents in Europe.

But come 2014, the forward had fallen to the periphery, watching on as an unused substitute in each of Die Mannschaft’s knockout games.

His Arsenal career followed a similar path. He featured prominently in his debut 2012-13 campaign, scoring 11 goals in 33 Premier League appearances, but gradually played less of a first-team role, eventually being loaned out to Inter in January 2015 before sealing a permanent switch to Galatasaray in the summer.


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