MUKHTAR HAS WON SEVEN TROPHIES IN LAST SEVEN YEARS
NASHVILLE – Success breeds success.
It might be a witty catchphrase, but it has actually proven to be true by scientific studies.
Hany Mukhtar, Nashville SC’s first Designated Player signing, has already experienced more success than most 24-year-old soccer stars. The first trophy came in 2012 with Hertha Berlin’s U-17 team in the U-17 Bundesliga. The following year with Hertha Berlin’s senior team, he helped his hometown club win Bundesliga 2 to earn a promotion to the Bundesliga. He starred with Germany’s U-19 youth national team at the UEFA European Championship scoring the match-winning goal in the final over Portugal.
Following Mukhtar’s transfer to SL Benfica in 2014, the top tier of Portuguese soccer, the European power won Liga NOS, the top soccer league in the country. After a loan from Benfica to Red Bull Salzburg, Mukhtar won the Austrian Bundesliga and Austrian Cup in 2016. That earned him a transfer to Brøndby where he won the Danish Cup in 2018.
Seven trophies won in the last seven years. Can Hany Mukhtar make it eight in eight years?
“I have ambition, ambition for me and also for the club,” said Mukhtar during his visit to Nashville this week. “We will have a new team and everything will be new. But I think for all of us, we have to have high ambitions. The best thing in football is to win trophies and to win games, therefore we have to work hard and I will give my best. That should be the ambition for everybody who’s following Nashville.”
It should be no surprise that someone as successful as Mukhtar grew up idolizing soccer legend Zinedine Zidane. Zidane is widely considered one of the greatest players of all time, winning a World Cup with France in 1998 and numerous league, cup and continental titles with Juventus and Real Madrid. Now Zidane is the manager of Real Madrid, still having success.
“When I was younger, my idol was [Zinedine] Zidane,” said Mukhtar “He was amazing. I still like him and watch his games if I can.”
Mukhtar won’t just bring trophies with him to Nashville, he will also bring high-level experience. On October 26, 2013, an 18-year-old Mukhtar made his Bundesliga debut on the road in front of 71,000 people at Germany’s biggest club, Bayern Munich. On the field for Bayern in that match were the likes of Arjen Robben, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mario Mandzukic and Phillip Lahm all coached by Pep Guardiola on the sidelines.
“It was a great experience,” said Mukhtar of his Bundesliga debut. “I think from that end, all the experience makes you stronger and stronger. I will try to help [Nashville SC] with my experience, of course. I am still young, but yeah I think I can help the team with the experience I have.”
It’ll be a brand-new Nashville SC team that takes the field for next year, with many players likely never having played together before. As many Nashville fans will remember from the club’s first USL Championship team in 2018, it will take time to develop chemistry and connections between players on and off the pitch.
As an attacking midfielder, Mukhtar will be counted on to be the chemistry to the Nashville attack. When asked to describe his game, Mukhtar was succinct.
“I like to play between the lines and to open space for teammates.”
He doesn’t need to do much talking – his success speaks for itself.