Mikel Arteta gets a medal! Why Arsenal manager was awarded special honour ahead of Premier League title decider – explained

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has already landed himself a medal ahead of the Gunners’ bid to savour Premier League title glory

  • North London giants have eyes on the prize
  • Man City standing in their way
  • Coach already has cause for celebration
  • WHAT HAPPENED?

    The north London outfit are heading into the final day of the 2023-24 campaign clinging to hope that a domestic crown can be returned to Emirates Stadium. They sit two points adrift of defending champions Manchester City with just three left to play for – with Arsenal preparing to host Everton, while City entertain West Ham.

    • Mikel Arteta Arsenal 2023-24Getty

      THE BIGGER PICTURE

      Arteta has already had cause for celebration, with the 42-year-old being awarded the Royal Order of Isabella the Catholic – a Spanish civil order of honour that is presented to persons and institutions in recognition of their extraordinary services to Spain or the promotion of international relations for the country.

    • WHAT ARTETA SAID

      Arteta has been working outside his homeland since leaving Real Sociedad for Everton in 2005, with time spent as a player with Arsenal before moving into coaching at City and eventually back to the Gunners in 2019. He has told BBC Sport of receiving a prestigious award: “It’s a huge honour as you can imagine. When I was told about it I couldn’t really understand it. It makes my family really proud, it’s a big moment for all of us and it’s such a recognition and hopefully I can continue to represent our country in a beautiful way. It’s a huge recognition. It’s a big day for all of us. I have all my family here with me, [it is] a proud day. It’s been 24 years away from my country and now everything makes sense.”

    • Mikel Arteta Arsenal 2023-24

      DID YOU KNOW?

      Quizzed on whether success at this stage bodes well heading into a thrilling climax to the Premier League season, Arteta added: “Maybe it’s the signal we needed. Especially after what happened [with Manchester City beating Tottenham], but we have a beautiful day ahead of us on Sunday and hopefully the magic can happen. That’s it. We have to do our deal. We know what we need in order to be champions so let’s do that.”

    • WHAT NEXT?

      Arsenal have won 27 games this season – the most that they have ever managed in a single Premier League season, including their last ‘Invincibles’ title triumph from 2003-04 – and intend to put themselves in contention for major honours next term regardless of how a dramatic end to the current campaign plays out.

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