YEREVAN—Armenia’s President Armen Sarkissian held a meeting Monday with soccer star Henrikh Mkhitaryan, the captain of the Armenian national soccer team and midfielder of London’s Arsenal. But there was a third, very special guest at the meeting – a student from Gyumri who is a huge fan of Mkhitaryan. Not only did little Manvel get the chance to meet the soccer star, but also got the president of the country to introduce him.
Manvel is a child actor whom Sarkissian met by chance when walking around Gyumri over the weekend, the presidential press office said.
Turns out the boy had told the president about his dream to meet Mkhitaryan, and Sarkissian arranged everything just two days later.
“When I asked Manvel what his dream was, he said he wants to become a soccer player like Henrikh Mkhitaryan,” the president said when introducing Manvel to the Arsenal midfielder.
“Look how simple our dreams are, they can come true in a day,” President Sarkissian told the child.
Mkhitaryan signed a soccer ball and gifted it to Manvel, who also got a photo with the international star athlete and the president.
Speaking with Mkhitaryan afterward, Sarkissian said he is a longtime soccer fan, as well.
Sarkissian then spoke about his memories regarding the legendary Ararat FC of Yerevan. “My love of soccer of many years had days of sparks and joy from 1973 to 1975,” the president said.
“Now many are cheering for Arsenal, but the reason for it is you,” the president told Mkhitaryan.
Sarkissian expressed his well wishes to Mkhitaryan who in turn gifted a signed Mkhitaryan #7 jersey to the president.
“Today, I had the pleasure of meeting with the President of the Republic of Armenia, Mr Armen Sarkissian. With him we discussed the overall development of football in Armenia and my ambitions at NT & Club level,” Mkhitaryan later wrote in a Facebook post.