Mikel Arteta joins Pep Guardiola at Manchester City as a coach after confirming retirement and Arsenal exit
Arteta thanked Arsenal fans for their support during his time at the club
The Spaniard is 'looking forward to the challenge' at Manchester City
Mikel Arteta has confirmed he has retired from football and will join Pep Guardiola's coaching staff at Manchester City.
The former Arsenal captain released a lengthy statement on his Twitter page reflecting on his time as a player, as well as underlining his excitement at the prospect of working alongside Guardiola, who will be formally unveiled as the new City boss on Sunday.
'Following recent media speculation surrounding my future I can confirm that I will be leaving Arsenal and retiring to take up a coaching position at Manchester City,' the 34-year-old Arteta wrote
'I will always remember my time at the Emirates and have gained memories during my time at the club that will stay with me forever - none more so than winning the FA Cups and Community Shields in consecutive seasons - the club's first trophies in a decade.
'Throughout my playing career I was fortunate enough to play for some fantastic clubs. Moving to the UK was a big decision for me early in my career but it was without doubt the best decision I could have made and helped shaped both the player I became on the pitch as well as the person I am today off it.
'I will never forget the support that I've enjoyed from the fans and people of all the clubs I played for in the UK, I must give a special mention to the respect and loyalty I've received from the Rangers and Everton fans over the years, as well as the support I got from the fans of PSG and Real Sociedad, without forgetting my first professional club Barcelona... Thank you all for everything.'
Arteta moved to Britain in 2002 to join Rangers, who he played for for two years before returning to Spain with Real Sociedad for a season.
After a loan spell at Everton, he joined the Goodison Park outfit on permanent terms in 2005 and played for the blue half of Merseyside for six years, before Arsene Wenger swooped for the midfielder in 2011.
'I am now looking forward to the challenge ahead at Manchester City,' Arteta said. 'The opportunity to join Pep Guardiola and his team was an amazing opportunity for me and I am incredibly excited for the future.
'Throughout my career I have always been interested in more than just the playing side and have had a passion for helping progress and develop the team outside of just my own role as a player
'I have been lucky enough to play under some amazing coaches and managers during my playing career and I hope to use elements of everything I've learnt from them as well as experience from my own playing career to help City achieve success.
'Thank you again to everyone and let's keep enjoying this amazing sport that is football.'