Henrikh Mkhitaryan has revealed why he left Arsenal for Roma and how Inter icon Youri Djorkaeff ‘drove me to become a football player’.
Mkhitaryan moved on loan to Roma last summer and confessed he needed a ‘change’ in his career, having failed to truly establish himself at Arsenal.
“It was a bit of a shame because I missed the most important games of the season, but now I‘m happy to be back,” he told Serie A’s official YouTube channel.
“I’m in good shape, I’m looking forward to the next few games. I feel really good here, I’m enjoying the football, the league and the life and I hope to continue like this.
“Unfortunately I didn’t score so much, so for me it’s more important that the team win and get the three points because at the end of the season I want Roma to be in the top, top positions and, of course, it will be my pleasure to score more and assist more.
“If you’re positive you can change things but if you’re negative, things will never happen.
“There are moments on the pitch or outside of it where you always have to love to enjoy life because it’s not always about winning and losing.
“It’s about learning and having fun every moment every day, from training, the games or your lifestyle.
“I want to play as much as I can because I maybe have six or seven years left, maybe more, maybe less, and I want to enjoy every minute of playing football.”
The 31-year-old then spoke glowingly of Djorkaeff, who won the 1998 World Cup with France but is of Armenian descent too.
“He was one of my idols in the French national team when they were playing at the 1998 World Cup and I was supporting him because he was Armenian and playing for one of the best clubs in Italy, Inter.
“I was trying to copy the way he was running, the way he was kicking the ball, the way he was moving and I’m thankful to him because he drove me to become a football player.”
The Giallorossi resume Serie A action next Wednesday against Sampdoria, needing to close the gap on Atalanta, who occupy the fourth and final Champions League spot.
“We’ve dropped some important points against the smaller sides, but everyone can play football and it doesn’t mean you’ll win against the smaller sides.
“We have lots of new players, which is not easy because to build the team the club needs time.
“It’s not going to be an easy game for us or them. Everything is in our hands and we have to try to create the moments to win the game.”
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