Childhood & Early Life
He was born on January 21, 1989, in Yerevan, Armenian SSR, Soviet Union, to Hamlet Mkhitaryan and Marina Taschyan.
His father, Hamlet, was a famous Soviet and Armenian footballer, who played for the Armenian national team, the Armenian Premier League club ‘Ararat Yerevan’ and the CFA 2 club ‘ASOA Valence’ as striker. Hamlet is counted among the best players of the ‘Soviet Top League’ of the 1980s. He moved his family to France in early the 1990s.
Mkhitaryan was passionate about football since childhood and looked up to his father for his valuable advice on the game. He lost his father to brain tumour at the age of just seven, however Hamlet left a great impression on the little boy who followed him into football. Many believe that Mkhitaryan’s playing style closely matches that of his father.
The national teams department in the ‘Armenian Football Federation’ is headed by his mother.
His elder sister Monica works at the UEFA headquarters.
In 1995, he joined the youth system of ‘FC Pyunik’ after his family returned to Yerevan that year.
He completed his graduation from the Institute of ‘Physical Culture’ in Armenia and attended the Yerevan branch of ‘St. Petersburg Institute’ where he studied economics.
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He made his professional debut with ‘FC Pyunik’ in 2006. He made 70 appearances and scored 30 goals in his four seasons with the first team of the club, and the club won the ‘Armenian Premier League’ in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009; the ‘Armenian Super Cup’ in 2007 and 2008, and the Armenian Cup in 2009.
In 2009, he joined Ukrainian professional football club ‘Metalurh Donetsk’ and made his UEFA Europa League debut on July 16, 2009, scoring a goal in a 3–0 win over ‘FC Partizan Minsk.’ He made his ‘Ukrainian Premier League’ debut on July 19, 2009, against ‘Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk’ and scored the first league goal on July 26 that year against ‘Karpaty Lviv.’
On July 14, 2010, he became the youngest captain of ‘Metalurh Donetsk’ in the club’s history.
He moved to the Ukrainian professional football club ‘Shakhtar Donetsk,’ sealing a $7.5 million deal on August 30, 2010. He made his debut with the club on September 10, against ‘Obolon Kyiv’ and scored his first goal for the club on the 19th of that month in a 4–1 win over ‘Tavriya Simferopol.’
During his stay with ‘Shakhtar,’ the club won the ‘Ukrainian Premier League,’ the ‘Ukrainian Cup,’ and the ‘Ukrainian Super Cup’ during the 2010-2011 season.
His success with ‘Shakhtar’ continued with the club again winning the ‘Ukrainian Premier League’ and the ‘Ukrainian Cup’ in 2011–12 and 2012–13 seasons.
On July 10, 2012, Mkhitaryan helped his team ‘Shakhtar’ won the 2012 ‘Ukrainian Super Cup’ in its 2-0 win against ‘Metalurh Donetsk.’ His first ‘UEFA Champions League’ goal came on September 19, 2012, when he netted two goals for ‘Shakhtar’ against Danish champions ‘Nordsjælland.’ For his sterling performance, he was adjudged the ‘Man of the Match.’
He scored two goals for ‘Shakhtar’ against ‘Tavria’ on May 11, 2013, which took his goal count to 24 in that ‘Premier League’ season. He set a new ‘Ukraine Premier League’ record for maximum goals in a season.
He joined German sports club ‘Borussia Dortmund’ in 2013 and made his debut with the club on July 10, in a pre-season friendly against ‘FC Basel.’ His first goal for ‘Dortmund’ came in that match. He played in the 2013–14 ‘Bundesliga,’ scoring 9 goals and 10 assists as ‘Dortmund’ finished runners-up. He was enlisted in the WhoScored ‘Bundesliga Team’ of the Season.
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On August 13, 2014, he netted the first goal for ‘Dortmund’ in their 2–0 win in the 2014 DFL-Supercup against ‘Bayern Munich.’
On July 6, 2016, he became the first Armenian to play for a Premier League club when he joined the football club ‘Manchester United’ on a four-year contract with one year extension option.
His competitive debut with ‘Manchester United’ happened on August 7, 2016, in a 2–1 win over ‘Leicester City’ during the 2016 ‘FA Community Shield.’ On August 14 that year, he made history as the first Armenian to play in the Premier League in a 3-1’ Manchester United’ win over ‘Bournemouth.’
He scored his first goal for ‘Manchester United’ on December 8, 2016, against ‘Zorya Luhansk’ in the final group match of ‘UEFA Europa League.’ On December 11 same year, he opened his Premier League goal account leading the club to a 1–0 win over ‘Tottenham Hotspur.’
On May 24, 2017, Mkhitaryan scored the second goal in Manchester United’s 2-0 win of the ‘UEFA Europa League’ against ‘Ajax.’ With this he became the first Armenian player to win a major European football tournament.
He moved to the Premier League football club ‘Arsenal’ in early 2018. His debut with ‘Arsenal’ happened on February 3, 2018, in a 5-1 success against ‘Everton.’
His career with the Armenia national football team started in 2007. He was enlisted in the ‘UEFA Euro 2012 Qualifying Dream Team’ after he netted six goals for Armenia in UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying Group B where he emerged as the group’s top scorer.
He first captained the Armenian team on September 10, 2013, in the absence of Roman Berezovsky in a 2014 ‘FIFA World Cup’ qualification match against Denmark. On October 15, 2014, he became the top goal scorer for the Armenian national team with 12 goals surpassing Artur Petrosyan’s 11.
He added another feat to his name as well as to his country by scoring the first international hat-trick for Armenia in May 2016, in Los Angeles in a 7-1 friendly win against Guatemala.