Henrikh Mkhitaryan was given 'Micki' nickname by rival Premier League manager

Manchester United v Watford - Premier League

Sometimes, footballers names can be a tad problematic. Cesar Azpilicueta was a perfect case, with Chelsea fans abandoning the Spanish tongue-twister and aptly naming the defender, Dave.

Well, now it seems that this theory does not only apply to fans, it is also true with managers; Manchester United's summer signing, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, is a case in point.

The Armenian's name has been a challenge for pundits and commentators alike, particularly Paul Merson, although the Gillette Soccer Saturday regular struggles with the most simple of foreign names.


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The former Borussia Dortmund man goes by the nickname 'Micki' now and it turns out, it was Jurgen Klopp who gave him the name because he struggled with the full pronunciation.

Mkhitaryan explains the situation which saw his five-syllabled surname virtually banished from the mouths of everyone, even Jose Mourinho.

"When I came first to Dortmund Jurgen Klopp said, 'Listen, Mkhitaryan, it's your family name, it's too long,'" Mkhitaryan told the BBC World Service, as per Manchester Evening News.

"'So Henrikh, it's too long. Let's call you Micki. Are you okay?' I said, 'Okay, no problem.' And since that day they started calling me Micki.

"I'm thankful to him [Klopp] because he picked me from Shakhtar Donetsk when I was in the Ukraine, thanks to him because he worked a lot on me.

Manchester United v Watford - Premier League

"Most of his work was on my personality, on my psychological part because I was really very stressed after a few games and we were playing very bad and I'm thankful to him because he showed me the way, how I have to do what I have to do.

"He was always supporting me, saying that okay everyone is making mistakes, everyone is playing bad, but you don't have to bring your head down, you always have to keep your head up."

So don't worry football fans, it's not just us that struggle with the odd name, even the top managers do.


Would be interesting to know if Klopp ever gave Polish winger Jakub Blaszczykowski a nickname, because that really is a constonant-filled nightmare - it's even a struggle to type, no name should possess two zs.

Mkhitaryan himself has finally announced himself in the Premier League with a string of impressive performances for the Red Devils.

Playing in the no. 10 role, the 28-year-old has displayed playmaking brilliance and his impact could be crucial to United's success in the foreseeable future.

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