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Mkhitaryan on Roma and winning the UEFA Europa League

Henrikh Mkhitaryan tells UEFA.com about his mission to win the Europa League again, this time with Roma.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan has settled well in his first season with Roma
Henrikh Mkhitaryan has settled well in his first season with Roma @Getty Images

Despite suffering a couple of injuries in the course of his first season on loan at Roma, Henrikh Mkhitaryan has done enough to convince the club to keep him for another season, the 31-year-old Armenian still very much a class act in attacking midfield.

A UEFA Europa League winner with Manchester United in 2017, he spoke to UEFA.com about his time in the Eternal City, and the challenge that awaits Roma in their round of 16 tie against five-time winners Sevilla.

How have you enjoyed your debut season with Roma?

Europa League round of 16: Sevilla v Roma
Europa League round of 16: Sevilla v Roma

Henrikh Mkhitaryan: In my opinion, I had a good season, despite the two injuries I had. I am in good shape right now, and I hope to keep everything this way. We have already reached an agreement with Roma for me to play for the club for another year, until summer 2021, which I am very happy about. I have felt at home since day one – in my football, on the pitch and off it.

Roma have got Sevilla in the round of 16 this season; how do you feel about playing the tie after the long lockdown?

Mkhitaryan: Delaying the matches and holding them in August was the correct decision, when everything would be relatively calmer. Our opponent is very strong, but I’m not complaining. If you want to win the Europa League, you have to be ready to play against the strongest opponents. If you look at the remaining teams, you’ll see that each of them has a chance to win it, and the matches will be difficult for everyone.

Everyone is perfectly aware of the importance this tournament has for us, not only because it gives us a chance of playing in the [UEFA] Champions League, but if you win any title with this club, you will be forever in the fans’ hearts. This is a great opportunity for all of us to win the tournament, win a title, and the fans’ hearts. The most important thing for the team is to not lose any of the matches, and to take it seriously and be prepared for the match. Each player is of great value for the team.

Mkhitaryan lifts the trophy in 2017, with the Armenian flag around his shoulders
Mkhitaryan lifts the trophy in 2017, with the Armenian flag around his shouldersGetty Images

You won the UEFA Europa League with Manchester United in 2017; what do you remember about the 2-0 final win against Ajax?

Mkhitaryan: The Europa League is a pretty serious tournament, and it’s an honour for any player to win it. Before the final match, I just wanted the team to win, so that I would be able to lift the cup above my head with the Armenian flag. I did my best to prepare for the match during the week in order to perform perfectly. The match went as we had planned, we won 2-0, and what’s most important is that I scored probably one of the most important goals in my career, which I was hugely happy about. I can’t even explain the emotions, the feelings I had in that moment and at the end of the match.