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Mkhitaryan wins Armenian Footballer of the Year

Henrikh Mkhitaryan - Hrach Khachatryan

Congratulations to Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who's been voted Armenia’s Footballer of the Year for 2017.

The playmaker is the current captain of the Armenian national team and is also their all-time top goalscorer with 25 goals in 70 appearances.

Varazdat Haroyan came in at third with 25 points and Tigran Barseghyan picked up second place with 35 points, but Mkhitaryan won by a landslide, recording 190 points.

This is the seventh consecutive year that he’s received the award, and it’s the eighth of his career to date.

"It is a great honour because it means you've achieved something," Mkhitaryan said. "You've accomplished something important for the country and your followers. I am very happy to be the children's hero.

"I was a kid too, so I know what those feelings are. I too had heroes, I wanted to be like some football player or a hero."

With thanks to Hrach Khachatryan for the imagery - you can see more of his photographs here


International Watch: Six more Gunners in action

Henrikh Mkhitaryan Armenia

We had another six players in international action on Saturday.

Scroll down to find out how they got on:

Henrikh Mkhitaryan captained Armenia in their goalless draw against Estonia in Yerevan. Despite the hosts having the better chances, including four shots on target, they were unable to find a way through Estonia’s resolute back line.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles played 70 minutes of England Under-21s’ 2-1 win over Romania. Demarai Gray and and Jake Clarke-Salter gave the Lions a two-goal cushion before Valentin Costache pulled one back, but the hosts stood firm to grind out the win.

Eddie Nketiah scored in England Under-19s’ European Championship qualifying win over Latvia. Mason Mount gave the Young Lions an early lead before our young striker found the net, and then Mount struck again to secure a routine win for Keith Downing’s side. Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson also started, with the latter being replaced by Eliot Embleton after 71 minutes.󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

Vlad Dragomir captained Romania Under-19s to a 2-1 victory against Sweden. Despite Lukas Browning’s early opener and being reduced to 10 men following Constantin Dima’s dismissal, Romania still came from behind to win thanks to Tudor Baluta and Alexandru Matan’s goals.


International Watch: Seven Gunners in action

Mesut Ozil in action for Germany

We had seven first-team stars in international action on Friday night.

Scroll down to find out how they got on:

Sead Kolasinac assisted Bosnia and Herzegovina’s winner in their friendly victory over Bulgaria in Razgrad. Our full back surged forward on the left-hand side before squaring a first-time cross to Kenan Kodro, who slotted home from close range.

Granit Xhaka captained Switzerland to a 1-0 victory over Greece and played a key part in Blerim Dzemaili’s 59th-minute winner, too. Collecting a loose ball just inside Greece’s half, Xhaka picked out Haris Seferovic who crossed for Dzemaili to spectacularly volley home. 

Mesut Ozil helped Germany to a 1-1 draw against Spain in Dusseldorf. Our creator in chief played the full 90 minutes as Die Mannschaft bounced back from conceding an early Rodrigo goal to earn a respectable result in western Germany, thanks to Thomas Muller’s strike.

Mesut Ozil in action for Germany

Mohamed Elneny played the duration of Egypt’s 2-1 defeat against Portugal in Zurich. After Mohamed Salah had found the bottom corner on the hour mark, the Pharaohs looked to be heading for victory, but Cristiano Ronaldo struck twice in injury time to turn the game on its head right at the death.

David Ospina helped Colombia come from two goals behind to beat France 3-2 in Paris. Former Gunner Olivier Giroud capitalised on our keeper’s error to give Les Bleus the lead, before Thomas Lemar added to Colombia’s woes. But La Tricolor hit straight back through Luis Muriel and Radamel Falcao, before Juan Quintero completed the comeback from the penalty spot.

David Ospina in action against France

Alex Iwobi played an hour of Nigeria’s 1-0 win against Poland in Wroclaw. In the end it took a Victor Moses penalty to separate the sides, with the Chelsea player converting from the spot after being brought down in the box. 

Danny Welbeck played the final 23 minutes of England’s 1-0 win over the Netherlands in Amsterdam. Jesse Lingard’s strike proved to be the difference, as Gareth Southgate’s side extended their unbeaten streak to seven games.

Danny Welbeck in action for England


International Watch: Who’s playing and when?

Henrikh Mkhitaryan in action for Armenia

Ten of our first-team players have received call-ups to their national teams for this month’s international fixtures.

Scroll down to find out who’s in action and when they could be playing:
Laurent Koscielny has been called up to the France squad for their friendlies against Colombia in Paris on March 23 and Russia in Moscow on March 27.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been named in Armenia’s squad for their friendlies against Estonia on March 24 and Lithuania on March 27.
Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck have been called up to the England squad for their friendlies against the Netherlands in Amsterdam on March 23 and Italy in London on March 27.

Danny Welbeck scores for England

Mesut Ozil has been included in Germany’s squad for their friendlies against Spain in Dusseldorf on March 23 and Brazil in Berlin on March 27.
David Ospina has been named in Colombia’s squad for their friendlies against France in Paris on March 23 and Australia in London on March 27.
Alex Iwobi has been called up to the Nigeria squad for their friendlies against Poland in Wroclaw on March 23 and Serbia in Barnet on March 27.

Alex Iwobi in action against Nigeria

Granit Xhaka has been included in Switzerland’s squad for their friendlies against Greece in Thessaloniki on March 23 and Panama in Luzern on March 27.
Sead Kolasinac has been named in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s squad for their friendlies against Bulgaria in Razgrad on March 23 and Senegal in Le Havre on March 27.
And Mohamed Elneny has been called up to Egypt’s squad for their friendlies against Portugal on March 23 and Greece on March 27, with both games taking place in Zurich.

Mohamed Elneny


'Why I chose Gabon over France and Spain'

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was born in France and has a Spanish mother. But he opted to play for Gabon.

The decision, Auba says, was a simple one - he wanted to emulate his father, the man who captained Gabon with distinction in the 1990s and has played such an influential role in his son’s career.
Auba did once pull on the France shirt for a youth international, but his heart was with Gabon. Nine years on from that decision, Auba is the joint top scorer in his country’s history.
“I was very young when I decided,” he explained. “Players often take their time to consider their options and make the right choice, but for me the choice was clear.
“I wanted to follow in my father's footsteps. He was captain of the national side in the past.
“I could well have chosen to play for Spain or France. I played for the French under-21 team, but I realised very quickly that in my heart I wanted to emulate my father.”