Mikel Arteta Amatriain
(born 26 March 1982 in Donostia, Guipuscoa, Spain) is a Spain professional football (soccer). He is a Midfielder, currently playing in the FA Premier League for Everton F.C..
Arteta began his football career at the FC Barcelona B squad at 15 years of age. Despite his potential he failed to break into the first team, and went out on loan with Paris Saint-Germain FC in 2000.
He joined Scotland club Rangers F.C. in 2002 for £6 million where he remained for two seasons, winning the 2003 Scottish Premier League title as well as the Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup. Arteta enjoyed a successful first season at Rangers F.C. and quickly established himself as a first team regular and a fans' favorite. However, injuries and loss of form blighted his second season and he was forced to move on once again.
He joined Real Sociedad, his hometown club, in 2004 as a replacement for Liverpool F.C.-bound Xabi Alonso but failed to establish himself in the team.
Everton F.C. Manager David Moyes signed Arteta in the 2005 January transfer window on loan with a view to a permanent transfer. Seen as a replacement for Danish midfielder Thomas Gravesen, Arteta played a vital part in helping Everton achieve UEFA Champions League qualification. He scored his first Everton goal in the 4-0 defeat of Crystal Palace F.C.. Arteta signed a five year deal in July 2005 for a fee of £2 million.
In the UEFA Champions League 3rd Qualifing round Arteta scored a brilliant free-kick from just outside the box in which it was his second goal for the club at the time.
The 2005–06 season saw Arteta pick up both the Everton Player of the Season Award (voted by the fans) and the Player's Player of the Season Award (voted by his teammates). Arteta's good form extended into 2006–07 . As well as retaining his starting place, he frequently turned in man-of-the-match displays, and finished the season with nine goals from the 35 league games he played. Arteta was awarded the Player of the Season Award for the second consecutive year.
Arteta carried that rich vein of form into the following season where his creativity was an essential part of Everton's attacking play. He had also added goals to his game, notching six goals by the end of January.
That improved further a season later, netting nine times in the 2006/07 and once again ending the season as the Player of the Year.
He helped Everton secure Uefa Cup football and was ranked by the ACTIM Index as the sixth best player in the Premiership but that was still not enough to earn him a call-up into the full Spain squad.
During the summer of 2007 he signed a new five-year contract, extending his stay at Goodison until 2012.
Arteta added another accolade to his growing collection during the 2007/08 season, when he picked up North West Footballer of the Year award.He then became the first Everton player in five years to receive the Liverpool Echo's Sports Personality of the Year award in January 2008.
Arteta suffered a niggling stomach injury in the second half of the season, meaning his effectiveness was reduced.Shortly before the final game of the campaign, he underwent surgery to rectify the problem.
Mikel scored his first goal of the 2008-2009 season in the Premier League opener versues Blackburn with a free kick into the left hand side of the post. He is on his way to regaining his previous best form after that niggling injury last year which effected his performances.For the 2-2 draw with Newcastle United he proudly captined the side. He also scored in this game, cooly sending the Newcastle keeper the wrong way from the penalty spot.