Given his success over the years, it has sometimes been asked why the big man never had a stint with Bayern Munich. Thanks to an appearance on a podcast with Bild reporter Kai Traemann (quotes captured by Goal), Mertesacker detailed why he never joined Die Roten and how some members of his family influenced that decision.
When I played for Hannover I had several offers, also - as I have been told - from Hamburg, Bremen and Bayern. Back then I already was a German international and Bayern would have loved to have the complete German national team.
But Bremen with [Tim] Borowski, [Torsten] Frings, [Miroslav] Klose and [Frank] Baumann also had some German internationals, which was more attractive for me. I still lived at home with my parents at 20/21 so the family was still close and I preferred that. And back then Bremen had the reputation for helping young players make their next step!
But maybe I didn’t make the move because my granny said: ‘Bayern doesn’t work at all’. She didn’t like Bayern and died before I made a move. I guess she would have turned in her grave and said: ‘Not with me!’
Mertesacker, of course, made out pretty well for himself despite shunning Bayern and is now the Academy Manger for Arsenal.