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Mifsud reunited with his first love

Published: Tuesday 17 June 2014, 9.10CET
Michael Mifsud, Malta's all-time leading scorer, talks to UEFA.com about returning to Sliema Wanderers FC – "always in my heart" – and his globetrotting career.
by Domenic Aquilina
from Malta
Mifsud reunited with his first love
Michael Mifsud celebrates after scoring a goal for Malta ©Domenic Aquilina
Published: Tuesday 17 June 2014, 9.10CET

Mifsud reunited with his first love

Michael Mifsud, Malta's all-time leading scorer, talks to UEFA.com about returning to Sliema Wanderers FC – "always in my heart" – and his globetrotting career.

UEFA.com caught up with Michael Mifsud after Malta's all-time leading goalscorer signed a three-year deal to return to his homeland and represent Sliema Wanderers FC for the third time. Mifsud, 33, has had spells in England, with Coventry City FC and Barnsley FC, at Norwegian team Lillestrøm SK, 1. FC Kaiserslautern in Germany and Maltese clubs Valletta FC (twice), Qormi FC and, of course, Sliema. He played last season at Melbourne Heart FC in Australia.

I am definitely very happy. Sliema have always been in my heart
Michael Mifsud

UEFA.com: How would you sum up your experience in Australia?

Michael Mifsud: I really enjoyed it – football in Australia is making great strides. I was given a hero's welcome on my arrival at Melbourne Heart – both by the Maltese community there and Australians themselves. 

I enjoyed my short stint on a personal level and on a professional level.  I have made big friends there, enjoyed the way of life, and I will really treasure the experience. I want to thank Melbourne Heart for giving me the opportunity to play in such a league.

UEFA.com: Are you happy to be back on the island with your first love, Sliema Wanderers?

Mifsud:I am definitely very happy. Sliema have always been in my heart and it seemed appropriate to sign for this big local club at this point in my career. I can honestly say that the setup I have seen at the club for the coming season is really impressive; a very different mentality.

I have been training with my new club for the past ten days and I was impressed by the preparations of Italian coach Alfonso Greco and his team. I had no problems adapting to my new team-mates, many of whom, if not all, are big friends of mine!

UEFA.com: Do you still remember your very first match with Sliema?

Mifsud: I do. It was at the Victor Tedesco ground in Hamrun at the tender age of 15 against Naxxar Lions in 1997/98.  I was praying that I could get a minute with the senior side and I did just that as a sub. That was the beginning of a long journey.

UEFA.com: What do you remember of your other experiences abroad, with Kaiserslautern, Coventry, Lillestrom and Barnsley?

©Domenic Aquilina

Mifsud collects his UEFA 100 caps award

Mifsud: I learnt a lot from all these experiences abroad. I will relish the League Cup run with Coventry City in 2007/08, when we beat Blackburn Rovers FC 4-1 away from home – a match when I scored twice – and then the memorable third round 2-0 win at Old Trafford.

Kaiserslautern was also unforgettable. Players like Mario Basler, Youri Djorkaeff and the legendary Miroslav Klose from whom I really had the chance to learn. We are still good friends and this is what makes football the best sport on the planet. I also relished my adventures with Lillestrom and Barnsley.

UEFA.com: What is more special: playing for your club or your country?

Mifsud: Both give me that emotion to get on the pitch and put in the best performance I can, but obviously playing for your country is always that little bit extra special.

Last updated: 17/06/14 9.26CET

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