Mertesacker handed 100th Germany cap

The Arsenal defender is to become only his country's 10th international centurion at the age of 29, just under a decade after making his first appearance, against Iran
Per Mertesacker will make his 100th appearance for Germany in Saturday's World Cup 2014 meeting with Ghana in Fortaleza.

The Arsenal defender is just 29 but will become his country's 10th international centurion at the Estadio Castelao after once again being paired in central defence with regular partner Mats Hummels.

Keep up with all the latest news from Brazil and get involved in the debate on Twitter with our new World Cup Social Hub
Consequently, Mertesacker moves to within one game of equalling the tally of Thomas Hassler, who sits ninth in Germany's list of most-capped players, and is now just seven appearances shy of the fourth-placed Jurgen Klinsmann, whom he made his debut under a decade ago.

The giant centre-half had just turned 20 and only had 20 Bundesliga appearances for hometown club Hannover under his belt when he featured as a substitute in a friendly against Iran in October 2004.

Despite his youth and inexperience, Mertesacker quickly established himself in Klinsmann's starting line-up and he played every minute of Germany's 2005 Confederations Cup campaign before playing a key role in his country's run to the semi-finals of the World Cup the following year.

He remained just as integral a member of the squad following the appointment of Joachim Low as Klinsmann's successor, playing every minute of the South Africa 2010 campaign, which saw Germany finish third.

Four years on, Mertesacker looks set for another strong tournament, after playing all 90 minutes of the impressive 4-0 demolition of Group G rivals Portugal in Salvador and unsurprisingly retaining his place alongside Hummels for the meeting with Ghana in Fortaleza.