Mikel Amatriain Arteta (born March 26, 1982 in San Sebastián, Basque Country, Spain) is a football (soccer) player. He is an attacking midfield player, currently playing for English Premiership club Everton.
He began his football career at FC Barcelona B squad at 15 years of age. After 3 years of mediocrity he had a loan spell in 2000 with
Paris Saint-Germain (where he played alongside Ronaldinho). He joined Scottish club Rangers in 2002 for £6m where he remained for two seasons, winning the 2003 Scottish Premier League title as well as the Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup. He enjoyed a
successful first season at Rangers and quickly established himself as a first team regular and a fans favourite. But unfortunately injuries and loss of form blighted his second season and he was forced to move on once again.
He joined Real Sociedad in 2004 as a replacement for Liverpool bound Xabi Alonso but failed to establish himself in the team and was loaned out to Everton in the 2005 January transfer window with a view to a permanent transfer if the loan went well.
He played a vital part of helping Everton reach UEFA Champions League qualification and after the departure of Thomas Gravesen, Arteta filled the gap left by the Danish midfielder. He capitalised on his half-season form by an excellent free kick in the 4-0 demolition of Crystal Palace, and sealed his permanent transfer to Everton that summer, putting pen to paper on a five year deal on the 15 July 2005 - Arteta was signed permanently by the Merseyside club for a fee of £2 million.
Arteta has also played for Spain U21s, and his current form for Everton has been met with calls from manager David Moyes for him to be selected for the full national squad.
On May 2, 2006, at the Everton end of season awards ceremony, Mikel Arteta picked up the Player of the Season Award as voted by the fans on the Everton website. He also was voted the Player's Player of the Season by his teammates. He had this to say; "It means a lot when it comes from your teammates. It is a very special club, with special fans and special players. It is very difficult to find players like we have here and I am very happy to play at this club."
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