For many today may be just another day, but for one of Malta’s all-time greatest footballers, it marks the end of an illustrious 20-year career with the national team.
Michael Mifsud will play his last game in a Maltese jersey against a team he once scored five goals against, Liechtenstein. The friendly match up will be a ceremonious bow out for the footballing legend who will be looking to extend his goal-scoring record by another goal or two.
“I have mixed emotions. I’m looking forward to this game but in a different way,” Mifsud told Lovin Malta.
“The most important thing is to give a good performance and try to win the game,” he said.
Mifsud’s international debut was against Albania on 10th February 2000 at just 18-years-old.
Since then, he has captained and appeared in 142 matches for the national team and scored 41 goals, becoming the record holder in both categories.
“I play every game to win. Of course, we win and lose some but we always give it 100% and try to get the best result possible,” he said.
While he’ll always be remembered for his stellar club career, defined by his historic performance against Manchester United in Old Trafford, Mifsud also shined on the international stage with one game standing out in particular.
“I remember we won one particular game 1-0 against Armenia. Everyone will remember that game for life,” he reflected.
The game in reference was a World Cup Qualifier in 2013 where Mifsud scored the only goal to give Malta a win.
A rare win to be exact. It is no secret that the Malta national team hasn’t had much success on the international stage and the books would tell a tale of losing. However, it has never stopped Mifsud from putting on the red jersey and representing his country with pride.
“It’s always an honour to wear the Malta shirt. It gives me goosebumps even up to now.”
“It’s always a battle but that’s what makes us a stronger team. Those moments are when you have to grind your teeth and take your chances to make the best out of it,” he said.
Mifsud’s bittersweet departure from national football comes at a pivotal juncture for the team under new head coach Devis Mangia.
For the first time since 1981, the team has played four consecutive games without a loss.
“The national team is doing really well. Hopefully, we keep on going at this rate. The technical and coaching staff know what they are doing.”
“I’ve played in four generations and football has changed a lot over the years. I’m over the moon seeing my friends and country do well.”
The national football star may be bowing out for the last time as a player but it may not be the end of his relationship with the national team as the 39-year-old is hopeful to contribute in one way or another in the future.
“I love the national team, it’s in my heart. It would be an honour if I did something around the national team,” he said.
“But at the moment I’m focused on this game and the rest of the season with my club. We’ll just have to wait and see.”
Malta will face Lichenstein at the Ta ’Qali national stadium at 6pm today.
Share this post to congratulate Michael Mifsud on his