Playing as a centre back for Arsenal, he also played for the German national team but retired in August 2014 after winning the World Cup. He has been described as an imposing, reliable, dominant and an accomplished defender.
He has participated in the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cups and the UEFA Euros in 2008 and 2012. In 2012, the defender established the "Per Mertesacker Stiftung", a charitable foundation that helps support amateur sportsmen and the poor.
He is a youth product of Hannover 96 and he made his senior league debut in November 2003.
He married German international handballer
Ulrike Stangein 2003 and they have two children.