A.Murun: I will try my best as my international career begins


2015-03-25 17:26 GMT+8
Photo credit: D.Javkhlantugs

Murun Altankhuyag, his continuous dream and unstoppable effort led him to become the first Mongolian professional football player.
He started his international career by signing his first professional contract with Thailand team. Currently, he signed professional contract with Serbia to open another gate to his international career.
We are delivering you the interview with A.Murun, who is heading to Serbia, today, and we wish him success to his sports career.

How did you spend your childhood?

There are five people in my family and I am the middle child. I was born in 21st of September, 1989. I spent my childhood at Baga Toirog. I used to play football wherever there was football field, outside the house and school field. When I was in second grade, my family moved to Damba where I played football more.  My football career started when I entered 5th school.

At first, my parents weren't liking the idea of me playing football at all. Finally, they begun to support me 100% as they could not stop my dream. My father watches every match of mine and my younger brother`s too. My younger brother was playing for Selenge Press team and he left his football career after having family. 

5th school is famous for their famous football players, right?

It can be said that 5th school is almost professional football school. They have been preparing many best players and teams until today. Every boy who studies at 5th school becomes close to football. I have to mention coach Sharkhuu, who helped many children to love the sport and succeed at football. Moreover, I have learnt many techniques and skills from coach D.Battur from Od club.

You might get dirty playing all day at dust field  as there were no artificial turf or football green field that time?

Indeed, I used to play football in the dust field.

When Colonel, D.Murun during his campaign for elections to Parliament, established dedicatory football field with goal and line.

During that time, Ulaanbaatar did not have field with artificial turf and even the National Football Team came to train.

I became football fan by watching Lumbengarav, Davaa-Ochir and Gerelt-Od who were players for National Team of Mongolia. 

Especially, player Lumbee inspired me. I had thought:"I want to play like him. I will definetely become football player like him".

Therefore, I trained for football and started to participate in School Championship Tournament and other tournaments. I was excited to be called for the best team of my school.  Sharkhuu coach was training us after our classes. I used to go home after playing football, even if I hadn't any training sessions.

How was your first tournament? Did you sit on the bench?

The first game we lost, even thou I was palying in starting lineup. However, our team won all championships later. I won my first gold medal when I was 14 years old and I first awarded from national tournament with bronze medal. Besides, becoming the best striker by scoring highest number of goals at Nukhurlul tournament was the first too. All of my first awards and medals are valuable to me and it inspired me a lot.

When did you play for National Team of Mongolia?

In 2005, I was playing for Junior National Team when I was 15 years old. I went to North Korea and played as striker. Next year, I played against South Korea and I scored a goal. I scored a goal at the match against Hong Kong and I think that was the best performance of me. I was called for National Team of Mongolia when I was sixteen. I was excited that I was called by head coach I.Otgonbayar.

You were not only called for National Team of Mongolia as the youngest, but also you had opportunity to play with your idol, Lumbengarav Donorov. How was your impression?

D. Lumbemgarav, Captian of Football National Team of Mongolia

I am proud of Lumbee and my respect grew more when I started to play with him. I have learnt many things from him including player skill, experience and personal character. The best players have always been in the generations of Mongolian National Football Team. I admire Buman-Uchral and Lumbengarav as the best leading players of Mongolia and Garidmagnai from our generation. 

You won Macao with 3:1 score at the qualifier match for the FIFA in 2009, which was held in Ulaanbaatar.  Specifically, captain D.Lumbemgarav started offense and you successfully finished it and scored for the first goal?

Yes, I scored the first goal in 55th minute of the match.

How would you conclude match against East Timor? Are you satisfied with your perfomance?

The most fascinating thing for the football player is to play for their National Team. For me, I arrived from Serbia and trained for seven days. We jointly trained with East Timor for two days.

Players of our national team are young. Most of them are playing for the national team for the first time. Thus, they have been overwhelmed. However, our players did their best. Due to short period training, I felt misunderstanding was the main drawback for our team. I want to say thank you to all supporters and football fans. Forgive me, if I could not play as much as you have expected me to perform.

How much pressure you felt as people had entrusted to you and estimated you as the "secret weapon" against East Timor?

Of course, I felt dissappointment after the match. I thought that if I scored at least one goal in front of the supporters. As I am an athlete, the most important thing was the feeling that I lost in front of the Mongolian supporters. After the match, Jiigee coach told me: "You guys played with your heart and tried your best." Besides, my friends showed me emotional support to me. Our national team has no right to play for international match in several years and it was difficult to players, especially who played for the National team for many years.

You were studying in the U.S. while playing for the league during the summer. What profession were you majoring in U.S.?

I played for Selenge Press team of 5th school and was awarded as the best player when I participated in "Duulian 2020" tournament. At that time, the best player was promised to study in U.S., but it did not happen.


They just could not let me go to study in U.S. I have waited for a year and attended to Ulaanbaatar University. Then, my family supported me to go to U.S. I was learning English, going to the university besides my work. If I had free time, I played football with my friends or training at the fitness club.

Then you left your university to be examined by Thailand league?

Yes, I was afraid when heading to Thailand due to doing risky step. It was challenging to me to leave my university that I have been studying for three years. At that time, I was living in San Francisco and I was working in order to earn for living. Thus, I wasnt trained so well. I was playing football with my friends if I had free time.

I lost large amounts of liquid by sweating, which caused muscle spasms and leg tendon and I did not pass for the first team when I arrived in Thailand. It was very hard to me to cope with it. Then, I continued my training and had the opportunity to play for another team.

How was the salary of Thailand league?

As professional league athlete, I was paid salary, training salary and bonus. It depends on the league rank and team. 

Your official manager is Mr.Takashi Morimoto. How did you meet him?

Mr. Takashi was present at Mongolian football league match. I first met him in 2001 and I approached him saying: "I want to play abroad. Can you send my video to foreign team?" Mr.Takashi helped me and sent my video to many foreign teams. I waited response for a while, finally, Thailand team contacted me. I appreciate him on helping me to accomplish my dream. He helped me to contact with Thailand league and beared my expenses for travel and accommodation. In addition, he helped me to play for European country. I want to express my appreciation to Balkhaa, CEO of UBS TV, Akira san for their support to me. 

Why did you choose Serbia from European countries?

Although I have recieved invitation to play for Croatia, visa was not issued due to property vertification and insurance when I was in Serbia. Then I signed one-year contract with Machava team, which ranks 12th to 13th in Serbian league. They transferred Nigerian player except me.

By playing for Serbia league, I was able to be noticed by Manchester city scout and Italian Serie A league scouts. If I try my best for the play, I will open my gate to play for European biggest team.   

Do you have a girlfriend?

Yes, I have. We first met a year ago and have been in relationship for three months. She supports me a lot.

What football team do you support?

FC Barcelona.

What is your favourite position? Defender or striker?

I like to play as midfielder. Midfielder has ability to play from distance. Striker plays closely to goalkeeper keeping me from playing from the distance as i prefer to play.

How about wing?

I love playing in left wing. My main position is left wing midfielder.

Thank you for taking time for the interview besides your busy schedule. I wish you to achieve your dream?

Thank you and all people who support me. I want to say that I will try my best to fulfill your hopes.           

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