Henrikh Mkhitaryan about move to Man Utd, Zinedine Zidane and Artsakh

Last year was Mkhitaryan’s most productive season at Borussia Dortmund to date and now, after three season in the Ruhrland, he’s made the move to Manchester United where he’ll be working under the tutelage of Jose Mourinho, seeking to restore the 20 times English champions to their former glory.

Much like his time at Shakhtar Donetsk, the attacking midfielder improved year-on-year in Germany and last term he chipped in with 23 goals and 32 assists in all competitions.

Mkhitaryan, 27, only wishes that his father Hamlet, who was a professional footballer himself, could be around to see what he’s achieved.

“I’m sure he would have been so proud of what I’ve accomplished, we have similar characteristics on the field and he’s always been a point of reference for me,” Mkhitaryan said in an interview with Marca.

Current Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane was an idol for the Armenian growing up, and as a result, the player has no problem envisaging working under the Frenchman some day.

“I’ve always admired his style of play, I think there are so many things I could learn from a leader like that.

“Why not work together if the chance arose?”

Mkhitaryan already speaks Russian, German, French, English and Portuguese – in addition to his native Armenian – and it was put to him whether he spoke Spanish and, indeed, if he could see himself playing in Spain some day.

“I don’t speak Spanish yet, but it would be nice to learn a seventh language!” he laughed.

“Spain has one of the strongest leagues in the world, the technical level there is very high and you never know where you’re going to end up in your career.”

Mkhitaryan’s shown himself capable in a number of roles, be it on the wing, as a playmaker or second striker, and in a deeper midfield role, but he feels most at home as an attacking midfielder.

“I love playing as a No. 10 because I can show off my creativity that way, but I’ve always been happy to play wherever my bosses have asked me.”

The player had glowing words for Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel, who spurred him on to produce some spectacular moments over these past 12 months.

“He’s a great strategist with a clear philosophy of the game; his style of football is attacking and fun.

“He’s the reason why I did so well last year, and I am grateful for the confidence he showed in me.”

Moving to Manchester United represents a big step and it remains to be seen whether he can match, or even better, his numbers from last season at Old Trafford.

“You can do anything if you work hard enough.

“I have certain goals, and I’m determined to do everything to achieve them.”

Speaking about his involvement in charity events, Mkhitaryan said: “It is a way of giving back to society all the love and devotion that fans give you as a football player. I like being around people and I feel very good when I am able to cause a small smile. The region of Artsakh, for example, has suffered greatly for decades and I enjoy participating in charity events with people who have lost relatives in the war. I would like to have peace in the world! All people deserve to live life at its best without problems.”

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