U19 ambassador Mkhitaryan's Armenian pride: UEFA.com
The UEFA European Under-19 Championship kicks off in Yerevan on Sunday, July 14 and hosts Armenia have gone right to the top in picking the ambassador for their first final tournament on home soil – the nation's most famous footballing son, Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Asked in an interview with UEFA.com what his advice would be to the players playing in the tournament this summer, Mkhitaryan said "my advice would be to have fun and enjoy every moment, because these kinds of games and competitions could be once in a lifetime. I wish the best of luck to every player."
In Armenia, he said, everyone loves football and that "think people are very happy to host this competition, as it is a great opportunity to watch the future stars of European football."
With 27 goals, Mkhitaryan is his nation's all-time leading international goalscorer, and the midfielder has played for Shakhtar Donetsk, Borussia Dortmund, Manchester United and now Arsenal. His first appearance in a UEFA competition came at 15 in a U17 EURO qualifier against Turkey.
"I felt very proud. It has always been a particular pleasure for me to play in the national team, because we would compete against different national teams and players," he said of the match.
"It was a very good experience for us at that age, as we wouldn't play those type of matches every week in our league."
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