Mikel Arteta doesn’t quite remember it the way Pepe Reina does. The story that the former Liverpool goalkeeper relays is that Arteta was bored one day at La Masia, the 18th century farmhouse next to Camp Nou in Barcelona that was used as dormitories for out-of-town youth team players.
And so he and a group of teenagers gathered above the entrance and decided to lob ice cubes at any unfortunate soul who happened to be entering. Unfortunately, one of the first to be struck in the random procession of callers was Serra Ferrer, who was the first-team manager at the time.
‘No, no,’ protests Arteta, when reminded of the story on Friday. ‘It wasn’t him! And it wasn’t ice cubes, it was water.’
The four years that Mikel Arteta spent at Barcelona’s La Masia have been integral to his…