The talented playmaker honed his skills in Brazil with Sao Paulo as a 13-year-old during his formative years where he developed into a crafty ace on the pitch of play and at 28, he is already a ‘monster’ and elusive for defenders when in action for either Manchester United or Armenia.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been a key figure in United’s Europa League run with his skills coming to the fore against continental opposition.

The Armenian may have inherited some of his ability from his late father Hamlet, who also an international for his country, but feels it is only through effort and exertion that you are able to hone your talents.

And he has said in no laconic terms that having a talent is never enough if not harnessed.

“It doesn’t matter how much ability and skills you are born with,” Mkhitaryan told Inside United.

“The most important thing is you have to use them and, to use them, you have to work very hard. So, if you work very hard, your talent is going to be an incredible strength for you. However, if you have the talent and ability and skills but don’t work very hard, you will not become anything.

“I’ve got many skills from him [his father] but I think he was quicker than me. He had a powerful shot and more of a natural instinct about how to score goals. I feel I am a little bit different to him as a player and what people say is that we are very different, so I cannot really compare myself to him.

“While at Sao Paulo I felt, during the year, that I improved my technical skills and I think it helped me a lot. I learned a lot by being in Brazil and by training there with technically strong players.”

Micki has been United’s Euro hero this term and after scoring in a fourth Europa League tie this season during the 2-1 triumph over Anderlecht in the quarter-final, he Mkhitaryan started at Celta Vigo and was denied another goal by home keeper Sergio Alvarez in the first half.

United host La Liga side Celta in the return leg at Old Trafford tomorrow night hoping to build on their 1-0 lead from the first-leg last week as they bid to make it to the Stockholm final in May.


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