Thursday, December 13, 2007

Pachajyan dreams of foreign fields

Wednesday 12 December 2007, Switzerland
by Khachik Chakhoyan from Yerevan

Named Armenia's Player of the Year for the first time in 2007, midfielder Levon Pachajyan tells he is still dreaming of making his name abroad.

Pressures of success
One of the stars of FC Pyunik's seventh successive title triumph in Armenia, Pachajyan has been thrilled to see his efforts recognised by the leading player award, but he says: "With this recognition come vast obligations and pressure. People respect me and I have to do everything to justify their expectations. I have to do well for my club and doubly well for the national team. Then this award might open doors for me to other countries and foreign clubs."

Overseas dream
Indeed, the 24-year-old, who has now won five Armenian championships, feels the time may be approaching for him to further his career abroad. "Every Armenian player dreams of representing one of the leading European clubs and playing in a major league," said Pachajyan. "It is exactly the same for me. It is massive honour to play for a major European club, but it is hard to earn a move to one. First you have to establish yourself in one of the more modest leagues."

International experience
If domestic football offers Pachajyan a limited opportunity to impress foreign scouts, his performances for the national side have given him plenty of chance to get out and about. With Armenia recording decent results in UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifying prior to the death of coach Ian Porterfield, the experience has doubtless served the player well. However, he still has a way to go to emulate his hero: Brazilian left-back Roberto Carlos.

Studies resumed
Nonetheless, he has time on his side, and with international team-mate Edgar Manucharyan beginning to make progress at AFC Ajax, other clubs are sure to be keeping a close watch on Armenian talent. Pachajyan, meanwhile, hopes to have qualifications to fall back on if his footballing dream does not work out. "I quit university to concentrate on football," he said. "However, I have started a correspondence course at a university in Moscow to make up for that."

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Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.



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