Henrikh Mkhitaryan

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Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Algérie - Arménie - 20140531 - Henrikh Mkhitaryan.jpg
Mkhitaryan with Armenia in 2014
Personal information
Date of birth (1989-01-21) 21 January 1989 (age 25)
Place of birth Yerevan, Armenian SSR, Soviet Union
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)[1]
Playing position Attacking Midfielder / Winger
Club information
Current team
Borussia Dortmund
Number 10
Youth career
1995–2006 Pyunik Yerevan
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2006–2009 Pyunik Yerevan 70 (30)
2009–2010 Metalurh Donetsk 37 (12)
2010–2013 Shakhtar Donetsk 72 (38)
2013– Borussia Dortmund 40 (9)
National team
2006–2007 Armenia U17 5 (1)
2007–2008 Armenia U19 6 (1)
2008–2010 Armenia U21 13 (9)
2007– Armenia 50 (16)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17:10, 9 November 2014 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 14 November 2014

Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Armenian: Հենրիխ Մխիթարյան, [hɛnˈɾiχ məχitʰɑˈɾjɑn] ( ); born 21 January 1989) is an Armenian footballer who plays as a midfielder for the German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund and the Armenia national football team. Mkhitaryan is Armenia's all-time top goalscorer, scoring 16 goals in 50 international matches since his debut in January 2007. His previous clubs include Pyunik Yerevan, where he came through the youth system, Metalurh Donetsk, and Shakhtar Donetsk.

Mkhitaryan was chosen Armenian Footballer of the Year in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013. In 2012 he was voted as the best Shakhtar player of 2011–12 season by the fans, and Ukraine Premier League MVP. In 2012, Mkhitaryan was named in UEFA's Top 100 players by UEFA European Football Yearbook 2012–13.[2] Mkhitaryan was voted the CIS Footballer of the Year for 2012, making him the first Armenian footballer to be named the best player from post-Soviet countries.[3] He received the award again for 2013.[4] Mkhitaryan received the nickname Heno from his fans in Armenia[5][6] and has been nicknamed Micki by his Borussia Dortmund fans.[7]

Early life[edit]

Mkhitaryan was born on 22 January 1989 in the Armenian capital Yerevan to Marina Taschyan and Hamlet Mkhitaryan, a prominent striker of FC Ararat Yerevan during the 1980s, who died of a brain tumor at age 33 when Mkhitaryan was seven years old.[8] His mother is the head of the national teams department in the Armenian Football Federation and his elder sister, Monica, works at UEFA's headquarters.[9]

At the beginning of the 1990s, the Mkhitaryan family moved to France, where Hamlet Mkhitaryan played for the now defunct ASOA Valence and helped them to be promoted to the second division Ligue 2. Mkhitaryan spent his early childhood in Valence. He always wanted to become a football player and began to follow in his father's footsteps. As a child, he would watch his father play and always wanted to follow him to training. The Mkhitaryans returned to Yerevan in 1995. Mkhitaryan graduated from the Institute of Physical Culture in Armenia. He currently studies economics at the Yerevan branch of the St. Petersburg Institute. Upon graduation, he plans to study there as a lawyer.[10][11] Growing up, Mkhitaryan considered Zinedine Zidane his football idol.[12]

Club career[edit]

Pyunik Yerevan[edit]

Mkhitaryan joined the Pyunik FC youth system in 1995 and received his first salary at the age of 15.[13] He was later promoted to the first team of Pyunik FC, making his professional debut in 2006 at the age of 17. He last played for the club in the 2009 season. During that season he scored 11 league goals in 10 league games. In his four seasons in the Pyunik first team, they won the Armenian Premier League on four occasions (2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009). They also won the Armenian Supercup twice (2007 and 2009) and the Armenian Cup once (2009). In total, he managed 70 league appearances for the club with 30 goals and 89 total appearances with 35 goals.[14] Armenian national team and Pyunik head coach Vardan Minasyan admitted that he would love to see his star player "playing in a stronger league." Minasyan stated young Henrikh was well on his way to becoming a legend in his own right. He said of Mkhitaryan, "He can win games on his own. He seizes control at the crucial moment and scores for fun."[15]

Due to his success in the 2009 Armenian Premier League at Pyunik Yerevan, he joined Ukrainian Premier League club Metalurh Donetsk.

Metalurh Donetsk[edit]

Mkhitaryan playing for Metalurh Donetsk in 2009

Mkhitaryan joined Metalurh Donetsk. He scored a goal on his debut in a 3–0 victory against Belarusian Premier League side FC Partizan Minsk, in the Europa League on 16 July 2009.[16] On 19 July, he made his league debut in a 0–0 draw with Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk.[17] His first league goal came in a 2–2 draw with Karpaty Lviv on 26 July.[18] On 6 August, he scored the first goal in a 3–0 second leg Europa League win against Slovenian Interblock Ljubljana, winning 5–0 on aggregate.[19] He finished the season with 14 goals in 38 appearances, including 29 league matches and 9 goals.

The following season he was named captain of the club on 14 July, at the age 21, making him the youngest captain in Metalurh Donetsk history.[20] He scored his first goal, an 89th minute penalty, in a 3–0 victory over Obolon Kyiv on 16 July.[21] He played his final match for the club in a 2–1 win against Dnipro on 30 August.[22] In his second season he played eight matches and scored three goals, all of which were in the league. He made 37 league appearances during his time at Metalurh, scoring 12 goals.[23] In total he played 46 matches for the club, scoring 17 times. On 30 August, he sealed a $7.5 million switch to reigning Premier League champions Shakhtar Donetsk.[24]

Shakhtar Donetsk[edit]

2010–11 season[edit]

Mkhitaryan in the 2010–11 season

During the 2010–11 season Mkhitaryan was bought for $7.5 million by the champions Shakhtar Donetsk.[25] His debut came on 10 September in a 1–0 away league defeat to Obolon Kyiv, being replaced after 62 minutes by Eduardo.[26] His home debut was more successful, with Shakhtar coming back from a goal behind to win 4–1 against Tavriya Simferopol on 19 September.[27] He scored his first goal for the club in this match. Three days later he made his first appearance in the Ukrainian Cup, netting the second goal in a 6–0 win over Kryvbas.[28] On 25 September, he scored a late injury time winner in a 2–1 away victory over Metalist Kharkiv.[29] He made his European debut for the club in the Champions League on 28 September against Sporting Braga winning 3–0.[30] He made an appearance in the 2–0 Ukrainian Cup Final victory against Dynamo Kyiv, coming on in the 81st minute in place of Jádson.[31] His first season with the club was extremely successful for Shakhtar as they won the treble (Premier League, Ukrainian Cup and the Super Cup).[32]

Mkhitaryan playing for Shakhtar Donetsk in 2011

2011–12 season[edit]

In the 2011–12 season Shakhtar won the Premier League and the Ukrainian Cup.[33] Mkhitaryan scored the third goal in a 4–0 win against Obolon Kyiv in his first league match of the season.[34] On 4 March, he scored the equalising goal in a 1–1 draw with Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk.[35] He scored the only goal in a cup victory over Metalurh Zaporizhya on 11 April.[36] On 6 May, he played a part in Shakhtar's 2–1 extra time victory over his former team Metalurh Donetsk in the Ukrainian Cup Final, coming off after 62 minutes for Douglas Costa.[37] In an online poll on Shakhtar Donetsk's official website, Mkhitaryan was voted as the best player of Shakhtar in 2011–12 Premier League season with about 38% of total votes.[38] He scored 11 goals in 36 matches, including 10 goals in 28 matches. Shakhtar retained the Premier League and the Ukrainian Cup in the 2011–12 season.[33]

2012–13 season[edit]

Mkhitaryan played in 2–0 2012 Super Cup victory over Metalurh Donetsk.[39] In his first match of the 2012–2013 Premier League season, he netted twice and provided two assists in a 6–0 season opening victory against Arsenal Kyiv.[40] He managed a hat-trick against Chornomorets Odesa [41] in a 5–1 win to reach 10 goals for the season after just six games, equalling his tally for the previous season. On 19 September, in Shakhtar's first Champions League match of the season, Mkhitaryan scored twice in a 2–0 victory over Danish champions Nordsjælland.[42] This was the first time he had scored a goal in the Champions League and he was named Man of the Match.[43] He was also named in the Team of the Week for matchday 1 of the Champions League after his brace against Nordsjælland.[44][45] On 16 March 2013, Mkhitaryan played his 100th game in the Ukrainian Premier League in a match against Chornomorets Odesa.[46][47]

On 11 May 2013, Mkhitaryan scored his 23rd and 24th goals of the Premier League season in a 5–0 victory over Tavria. These goals set a Ukrainian Premier League record for most goals in a season.[48][49] Mkhitaryan finished the season with 25 league goals, and the attacking midfielder was praised for his technique and dedication.[50]

Borussia Dortmund[edit]

2013–14 season[edit]

On 25 June, Borussia Dortmund made a €25 million ($30 million) bid,[51][52] but in confirming the offer Shakhtar Donetsk CEO Sergei Palkin insisted that it fell short of the clubs valuation, which was a single payment of €30 million (£25 million). In the same press conference, Palkin confirmed the acquisition of Brazilian Fred from Sport Club Internacional for €15 million (£12.5 million), a likely replacement.[53] On 5 July, it was reported that Borussia Dortmund has succeeded in talks with Shakhtar and Mkhitaryan was on his way to Germany for a medical test.[54][55][56] On 8 July, Borussia Dortmund announced that it was set to sign a four-year deal with Mkhitaryan for €25 million (£21.5 million)[57] [58][59][60] Shakhtar and Borussia officially "resolved all the necessary formalities" and agreed on €27.5 million (£23.6 million),[61][62] making him the most expensive purchase in the club's history.[63]

On his debut in a pre-season friendly against FC Basel on 10 July 2013, Mkhitaryan set up a goal for Marco Reus in the 11th minute and scored his first goal for the club 16 minutes later, helping his side to a 3–1 victory away at St. Jakob-Park.[64][65][66] Mkhitaryan couldn't take part and wasn't listed in the squad at the 2013 DFL-Supercup which his club won due to an injury he received on a friendly game before that. Mkhitaryan debuted for BVB following his return from a three weeks sustained injury in the second round of 2013–14 Bundesliga on 18 August 2013 in a BVB victory over Eintracht Braunschweig at BVB's Signal Iduna Park.[67] Mkhitaryan's first two Bundesliga goals were decisive in a 2–1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt to keep Dortmund in first place in the Bundesliga.[68] His first Champions League goal for Dortmund came in a 1–2 away win against Arsenal.

Mkhitaryan finished his season with nine goals and ten assists and was included in the WhoScored Bundesliga Team of the Season.[69][70] His team finished runner-up at the 2013–14 Bundesliga, and runner-up for the 2013–14 DFB-Pokal.

2014–15 season[edit]

The first trophy Mkhitaryan won with Dortmund was the 2014 DFL-Supercup, scoring the first goal in the 2–0 victory over Bayern Munich.[71]

International career[edit]

Mkhitaryan is currently one of the most important members of the Armenia national team. He debuted in an away friendly match against Panama on 14 January 2007.[72]

He scored six goals for Armenia in UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying Group B, thus becoming top goalscorer in that group.[73] Although Armenia did not advance past the qualifying stage for UEFA Euro 2012, Mkhitaryan's performances landed him in the UEFA Euro 2012 Qualifying Dream Team with six goals.

On 15 October 2013, Mkhitaryan became the top scorer in the history of the Armenian national team, after scoring his 12th goal for the national team in a 1–3 defeat to Italy in World Cup qualification.[74]

Style of play[edit]

Mkhitaryan training with Shakhtar in 2010

Mkhitaryan is capable of playing positions of both second striker and attacking midfielder. He thrives playing just behind the strikers, where he always looks to link up with his teammates in and around the box. Tearing apart opposition defences time and time again, he makes space for the striker/wingers to exploit and create goal scoring opportunities. Mkhitaryan has been praised for his technique, movement, accurate passing, dribbling, creativity, ball control and work rate. He is equipped with a dangerous shot, trickery to beat defenders, and a superb vision to go for the pass.[75][76]

During the 2012–13 season, former Scottish footballer Pat Nevin said of Mkhitaryan, "Eleven goals in eight league matches already is fantastic, but when you add that he is a midfielder, it is phenomenal. You may not have heard of him yet, even if all the scouts at the top European clubs have, but you soon will. He has pace, skill, a rocket of a shot and the ability to arrive in the box like Frank Lampard. This all singles him out as a player who must be watched or more importantly marked."[77]

Personal life[edit]

The death of his father impacted Mkhitaryan greatly. He feels that if his father were still alive, "everything would be different." He gave him useful advice from a professional point of view. People who have watched Mkhitaryan and his father, say that their styles resemble each other very much. He has said, "I believe he sees me and is proud of me…"[78][79]

Mkhitaryan is fluent in six languages: Armenian, Russian, English, German, French and Portuguese.[80] Shakhtar's Donbass Arena has a tradition of playing music each time home players score goals, with a track corresponding to the nationality of a scorer. "Sabre Dance" by Aram Khachaturian was played whenever Mkhitaryan scored. This song became very popular in Donetsk due to Mkhitaryan scoring frequently.[9][81]

In 2012, by the decision of the Yerevan City Council, and in connection with the city's 2794th anniversary, Mkhitaryan was awarded with the "Honorary Citizen of Yerevan" title, for his great success in football and his brilliant achievements in sports.[82]

Mkhitaryan has visited the Artsakh Republic three times on charity visits. In December 2011, Mkhitaryan visited Stepanakert and donated gifts to the families of fallen soldiers. He was subsequently awarded the NKR Prime Minister’s medal.[83]

Had he not been a football player, Mkhitaryan said he would be a sprinter.[84]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of 9 November 2014.
Club performance League Cup Europe Total
Season Club Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
2006 Pyunik Yerevan 12 1 0 0 12 1
2007 24 12 0 0 4 0 28 12
2008 24 6 5 3 2 0 31 9
2009 10 11 6 2 16 13
Total 70 30 11 5 6 0 87 35
2009–10 Metalurh Donetsk 29 9 2 1 6 4 37 14
2010–11 8 3 0 0 8 3
Total 37 12 2 1 6 4 45 17
2010–11 Shakhtar Donetsk 17 3 3 1 7 0 27 4
2011–12 26 10 4 1 6 0 36 11
2012–13 29 25 5 2 8 2 42 29
Total 72 38 11 4 21 2 104 44
2013–14 Borussia Dortmund 31 9 4 2 10 2 45 13
2014–15 9 0 2 1 3 0 14 1
Total 40 9 6 3 13 2 59 14
Career Total 219 89 30 13 46 8 295 110

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Armenia's goal tally first:
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 28 March 2009 Republican Stadium, Yerevan, Armenia  Estonia 1–0 2–2 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
2. 25 May 2010 Republican Stadium, Yerevan, Armenia  Uzbekistan 1–0 3–1 Friendly
3. 8 October 2010 Republican Stadium, Yerevan, Armenia  Slovakia 3–1 3–1 UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying
4. 12 October 2011 Republican Stadium, Yerevan, Armenia  Andorra 2–0 4–0
5. 2 September 2011 Estadi Comunal d'Aixovall, Andorra la Vella, Andorra  Andorra 3–0 3–0
6. 6 September 2011 Štadión pod Dubňom, Žilina, Slovakia  Slovakia 2–0 4–0
7. 7 October 2011 Republican Stadium, Yerevan, Armenia  Macedonia 2–0 4–1
8. 11 October 2011 Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Republic of Ireland  Republic of Ireland 1–2 1–2
9. 12 October 2012 Hrazdan Stadium, Yerevan, Armenia  Italy 1–1 1–3 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
10. 14 November 2012 Republican Stadium, Yerevan, Armenia  Lithuania 3–0 4–2 Friendly
11. 11 June 2013 Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark  Denmark 4–0 4–0 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
12. 15 October 2013 Stadio San Paolo, Naples, Italy  Italy 2–1 2–2
13. 27 May 2014 Stade de la Fontenette, Carouge, Switzerland  United Arab Emirates 2–1 4–3 Friendly
14. 3–2
15. 6 June 2014 Coface Arena, Mainz, Germany  Germany 1–1 1–6 Friendly
16. 7 September 2014 Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark  Denmark 1–0 1–2 UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Pyunik Yerevan
Shakhtar Donetsk
Borussia Dortmund

Individual[edit]

References[edit]

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