USA: Hany Mukhtar: The German football star that hardly anyone here has on the bill

The sheer numbers are impressive: top scorer with 23 goals in 33 games, plus seven assists.

USA: Hany Mukhtar: The German football star that hardly anyone here has on the bill

The sheer numbers are impressive: top scorer with 23 goals in 33 games, plus seven assists. He was directly involved in well over half of his team's goals. Scored a total of 21 times in the last 25 games. Nevertheless, hardly anyone in this country knows the name of the German footballer, who is currently in such impressive form: Hany Mukhtar.

This is mainly due to the fact that the 27-year-old does not play for a Bundesliga club, but in the distant USA. In the MLS football league there, however, Mukhtar is one of the top stars - even though such big names as Gareth Bale or Gonzalo Higuain play in the same league. Recently, the native of Berlin even received the greatest honor in US sports: He was voted "MVP" of the MLS, the most valuable player of the season.

Only two other Germans have done that before him in the US professional leagues: basketball player Dirk Nowitzki in the NBA and ice hockey player Leon Draisaitl in the NHL. "It's the greatest moment of my career," said Mukhtar happily, explaining in the "Bild" newspaper that the award made him "extremely proud". Mukhtar, who usually plays in attacking midfield or as a striker for his club Nashville SC, has made a name for himself overseas with his goals and assists. In Germany he is largely unknown: the offensive man played for Hertha BSC in his youth, but switched to Benfica Lisbon in Portugal at the age of 19. After three and a half years at Brondby Copenhagen, he moved to the USA.

However, the decision to move to Nashville in 2020 was anything but easy for him, since the club had only just received the franchise for the US professional league, he told "": "When they called me, they weren't playing yet in MLS and only had one player." Thanks in part to Mukhtar's strong performances, Nashville finished fourth in the Western Conference this season and made the playoffs. There, however, the team failed in the first round at the Los Angeles Galaxy.

While celebrated in the US, Hany Mukhtar is largely unknown in Germany. He has already scored a very important goal in the DFB jersey: in 2014 he scored the 1-0 winning goal against Portugal in the final of the U-19 European Championship. His teammates back then included Joshua Kimmich and Julian Brandt, who now play in the Champions League with Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. Mukhtar's career, on the other hand, stagnated. He still came up with three U-21 internationals for Germany and a total of 17 Bundesliga games with Hertha BSC, then he disappeared into obscurity.

Until now. In view of his outstanding form, the son of a German mother and a Sudanese father has already been traded as a possible candidate for the World Cup in Qatar. Such discussions quickly arise before major tournaments, surprises in the squad are always possible, but Mukhtar is not in the provisional World Cup squad of national coach Hansi Flick, which includes 55 players. So the dream hasn't come true yet - even if Mukhtar had explained in the "kicker" that he would "run to Qatar" for it.

But what about a move to the Bundesliga? There, the 27-year-old could definitely play his way into the national coach's field of vision. For the time being, Mukhtar has decided against it and extended his contract in Nashville until 2025. His reasoning: "I've learned in my career that sometimes it's more important to be happy and appreciate the moment and what you have than to look for a new challenge right away and then maybe not be happy."

Sources: "Kicker" / "Transfermarkt" / Profile on Transfermarkt / "Image"