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5 current Premier League players who represent smaller countries

Mkhitaryan is part of a select band of players from the lesser lights of football
Mkhitaryan is part of a select band of players from the lesser lights of football
taavi.pailk
ANALYST
Modified 06 Dec 2017
Top 5 / Top 10

Back in 2005, it was a big talking point when Arsene Wenger fielded a starting XI without any Englishmen in a Premier League match against Crystal Palace. Nowadays it has become pretty common and doesn't get much attention.

The Premier League has grown into the most popular football league in the world that is watched in hundreds of countries. The number of foreigners playing in the league has helped attract fans from every corner of the world.

Earlier this year, UEFA revealed a report that stated that a whopping 69.2 percent of Premier League players are foreigners. It was by far the highest number across every European league. The Cypriot first division followed with 57.1 percent.

Among players coming from better-known countries, there are also a few who represent obscure countries that aren't known for football. Here's a look at five of these players.


#5 Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Manchester United & Armenia)

Starting the list off with the best-known player. Every football fan knows Henrikh Mkhitaryan and his ability. The 28-year-old attacking midfielder led the German Bundesliga in assists a couple of years ago and he also started this season in hot form, recording five assists in the first three games to match a Premier League record.

He shares it with Ruel Fox, who interestingly also represented an obscure country, featuring a couple of times for the Montserrat national team.

Mkhitaryan will probably go down as the greatest ever Armenian footballer. He's already the record goal scorer for the international side than any other player and his accomplishments both internationally and in club football will be very difficult to match.

Football is among the popular sports in Armenia, but the level isn't very good. The national team has never qualified for the European Championships nor the FIFA World Cup and is currently ranked 90th in the world with not many players playing abroad.

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Aras Ozbiliz of Besiktas and Gael Andonian of Marseille are the only other players at clubs close to the top level in Europe, and neither is featuring much. The latter has only had one game in a Marseille shirt to his name and has been loaned out two years straight.

Mkhitaryan is making the country proud with his performances across Europe. Last season, Armenia became the 96th nation to have a Premier League goalscorer.

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Published 06 Dec 2017, 02:02 IST
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