Henrikh Mkhitaryan is a famous Armenian footballer and is one of the top players in Europe. He has played for such international football clubs, as Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United.
Armenia might not be so prolific in the sphere of football, but it has so many talented, professional and worldly known footballers. It’s enough to keep the names of the Armenians in a very high level.
Are there any fans of Manchester United Football Club?
Then, you have definitely heard about beloved Armenian professional footballer, Henrikh Mkhitaryan. He plays as a midfielder.
Modesty is one of Mkhitaryan’s key qualities that Armenians value so much. Even being one of the best players in the most successful football clubs, he always states that he doesn’t feel like a star.
Henrikh is not only the honorable member, but also the captain of the Armenian national team.
If you wonder how he developed his talents as an outstanding footballer and how he started his brilliant professional carrier, then just keep with us!
Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s Early Life and Carrier
What is His Real Name?
We should start with Henrikh’s name. His full name is Henrikh Mkhitaryan, but that’s not the only way people call him.
We all know that in football it is accepted to call footballers with last names. Heno’s last name has a very complex pronunciation, especially for Europeans. This is the reason they started calling him Miki.
But Henrikh himself mentioned many times that he doesn’t like the name Miki, because he is proudly carrying the last name his father gave him.
After officially joining Manchester United, Henrikh even made a video how to pronounce his last name right.
There is this typical stereotype about sportsmen, that all they do is sports and they are not into academics. That’s not Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s case. Being very talented and brilliant in sports, Henrikh also pursued higher education, both in sports and other spheres.
He graduated from the Institute of Physical Culture in Armenia. Later, he studied economics at the Yerevan branch of the St. Petersburg Institute.
Family that is Devoted to Football
It’s worth mentioning that all his family members, by this or that means are involved in sports, especially in the sphere of football. As he likes to say, they are a football family.
In order to demonstrate it, lets note that his mother, Marina Taschyan, is the head of the national team’s department of the Armenian Football Federation. Likewise, Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s elder sister, Monica works at UEFA’s headquarters.
However, the most important and key figure that had a great influence not only in Mkhitaryan’s life, but also in his choice of profession was his legendary father Hamlet Mkhitaryan.
He was a Soviet and Armenian prominent footballer who played as a striker of FC Ararat Yerevan. As a child, Henrikh Mkhitaryan wanted to follow up his father’s footsteps and become a famous footballer. Here is what he said about his father.
Well, we can surly say that he has every reason to be proud of his son. Besides, all Armenians are very proud and honored to have such a brilliant footballer like him.
In 1990s, his family moved to France and that’s why he spent most of the years of his childhood in Valence. The Mkhitaryans returned to Armenia in 1995. In the same year Henrikh Mkhitaryan started his first steps as a footballer in the youth system of FC Pyunik.
Sadly, Heno lost his father when he was 7-years old. Hamlet Mkhitaryan passed away after being diagnosed with a brain tumor, aged only 33.
At the age of 13 Heno went to Brazil to train with São Paulo for four months. As he remembers, that was one of the most interesting times of his life, because it shaped his style as a footballer.
Football background in France and Brazil, hah? His fame makes sense now!
Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s Career in Adult Teams and Famous FCs
Henrikh Mkhitaryan made his professional debut in 2006 at the age of 17, playing for the team of FC Pyunik. In his four seasons in this club, Mkhitaryan, together with his team, won the Armenian Premier League in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, also the Armenian Supercup twice and the Armenian Cup once.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s rapid raise continued. In 2010 he joined Shakhtar Donetsk for $7.5 million. Here his position was closer to the attack and he definitely felt more comfortable and started to flourish. Henrikh Mkhitaryan was voted Shakhtar’s player of the season by fans.
However, those who follow this outstanding footballer’s career are not surprised by this, as his outrageous talent is just impossible to not notice. In 2013 Mkhitaryan finished the Premier League season with 25 league goals and his coaches praised him for his wonderful technique and dedication to his work.
Glorious Career in Borussia Dortmund
In June 2013 Borussia Dortmund made a bid of €25 million ($30 million) for Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Anyway, Shakhtar Donetsk chief executive Sergei Palkin insisted that Henrikh Mkhitaryan was a key player for them, but also added that they are open to offers.
Here are his thoughts and feelings about that period of his life.
But, as he likes to say, fate can be interesting, as in the next season Borussia Dortmund, the German giants, played in a crazy and super-attacking style. In his three seasons with Borussia Dortmund Mkhitaryan managed to score 41 goals.
New Beginning in Manchester United
In 2016 he made the next major step in his football carrier by joining Manchester United on a four-year contract.
Here is what Henrikh Mkhitaryan said on this occasion.
In Manchester United, Mkhitaryan made his debut in a 2–0 victory in a match against Wigan Athletic. He made his first Premier League start in the Manchester derby on the10th of September 2016.
At the beginning of the season at Manchester United, he had an injury and didn’t have many chances to play. But it didn’t take him long to show his incredible talents again.
Here is a video where Manchester fans sing for Henrikh Mkhitaryan after a fantastic game.
These words of his teammate and prominent footballer Zlatan Ibrahimović demonstrate how important Henrikh is for the team.
Jose Mourinho also praised him, saying:
The most fantastic and undeniable thing about him as a footballer is the number of goals that he scores by not even being a striker.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan as the Leader of the Armenia National Team
One of his most amazing goals was his hat-trick in a match against Guatemala in Los Angeles, which they won with the score of 7–1. While playing for the reds, Mkhitaryan became the first Armenian to play in the Premier League.
Can you imagine the pride and honor that Armenians feel on Mkhitaryan? He is just an inspirational figure for all the Armenians and especially for all Armenian boys who dream to become just as great and successful footballer as he is.
It is not a surprise that he became Armenia’s all-time leading goal scorer. Besides, Mkhitaryan has been chosen Armenian Footballer of the Year seven times already. This is just one more proof of not only his brilliant professionalism, but also of the love, admiration and respect of all Armenians towards him.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s Patriotism
Above all, Henrikh Mkhitaryan is undeniable patriot and charity person. He has done charity visits in Nagorno-Karabakh, as well. All his donations were highly appreciated and he was awarded the NKR Prime Minister’s medal.
Equally important, in 2012 he was awarded with the “Honorary Citizen of Yerevan” title. Thanks to him, Aram Khachaturian’s “Sabre Dance” became quite popular in Donetsk. As you may know, Shakhtar has a tradition of playing music when home players score goals.
And, as a rule, the track is corresponding to the nationality of the scorer. While Mkhitaryan was scoring frequently, this song became quite preferred one.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan has always been all in sports. And, as he once stated, if he hadn’t been a footballer, then he would have been a sprinter.
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