Youri Djorkaeff, former offensive midfielder for Paris Saint-Germain (1995-1996), Inter Milan (1996-1999) and the French team (82 caps, 1998 world champion and 2000 European champion), particularly those now he is a PSG ambassador and works for FIFA with his Foundation, he agreed to give us an interview. In it, which will be fully disclosed this Sunday, we remarkably evoke his history with PSG, the link he still maintains, the summons of sporting director Leonardo in 2011, as well as the club’s news with the situation of Kylian Mbappé (striker of 21 years), the 2020 transfer window and the Champions League. Find an extract here, with the love of Snake for PSG and their relationship with the fans.
Djorkaeff “I needed an even more experience with what PSG could offer me. “
PSG, was it a step to be taken abroad?
Certainly, because I spent 4 years at AS Monaco which were extraordinary, it allowed me to be a top scorer, play for the French team, win titles. I needed an even more experience with what PSG could offer me. It was the madness of the Parc des Princes, to live in an extraordinary city, one of the most beautiful capitals in the world, and to be confronted with all the players on the team.
For newspapers The team, the Parisian, Le Figaro, to be confronted every day with journalists who ask if I’m happy, to talk about whether I scored or not (laughs). It was all of these things that made the challenge really exciting. There was also the desire to return to Paris, I had lived there. I felt at home.
We usually talk about pressure at PSG, but that seems to have motivated us even more?
Yes, and at that time there was The team Pierre Ménès and Gilles Verdez, and other journalists, who were very good, very tough but always fair. I had no problems with them. It was good to finish the training and have this pressure from the press. It was stimulating.
And the press was never a problem for me. Those who wrote poorly wrote, and those who wrote well, wrote well.
Did the comments bother you?
I never needed a reporter to tell me that I played a bad game. When I had a good or bad game, I rarely read.
Djorkaeff “I always said that there is a way to join a club. “
How can I explain that my year is going so well so fast?
I assume that my integration faculty helps, as I have done everywhere. I quickly understand things. I have always said that there is a way to join a club. You have to make sure you have signed the right contract. I’m not the type of person who will see you after 2 months to say “oh no, that’s not what I signed”. This is the behavior I had with Michel Denisot. “I am a player, you are president, I am facing you and that is important. What am I going to say, you can’t say it’s someone else. And it’s the same for you. Let’s look each other in the eye. When you have a bad time, it will still come face to face, because you will not think that what you are reporting is mine ”.
After that, only football counted. And I had the chance to meet an extraordinary group. Honestly, I didn’t expect this in Paris, I was told it would be difficult. And it was just the opposite. I was with players I had never played with and from the beginning they came to me, accompanied me, led me, allowed me to integrate in two seconds.
Djorkaeff “the players who were there were very attached to the club, which meant that everyone was shooting in the direction of the club. “
We often hear that there are problems in the locker room, but when the players talk we don’t find them …
No, there was no problem. Like everywhere, sometimes there are things in the locker room. But he remained in the locker room. We had a mature team, players who knew the league and football well. And I think that all the players that were there were very close to the club, so everyone was shooting towards the club before they thought of themselves.
Was that the little extra to win in Europe?
I think so. Of course, each generation has a talented team. But I think that group cohesion is very important. Especially in Paris, where there is a lot of pressure from outside, from the fans, from the press. The pressure is there daily. But the group was strong, lived well together and we had common goals.
You were quickly appreciated by the fans, is that still something to be proud of?
Yes, it remains a great pride. Because they understood that it was my club, that I loved this shirt, there was nothing wrong. It was just real. Even today, in my FIFA office chair (shows PSG shirt, note). And then, I loved the fans in Paris.
Me, playing in the Parc des Princes with this crowded stadium, those bleachers that smell like football… There were problems, but on the night of the game, getting to the Parc when it’s a bit messy is also good.
Djorkaeff ”I was doing really well in the city, it was my stadium, my club. “
However, you left after a year. You said earlier that it was because management took too long to come and talk to you about the contract. That’s it?
My goal was to end my life in Paris. I wanted to establish myself in the long run, I was very comfortable in the city, it was my stadium, my club. I spoke with the leaders in December, when I arrived in August. They said they would think about it, but they made me an offer that was too late, I already had all the biggest clubs that wanted me, including Barcelona and Inter Milan. The career prospects, I’m not talking about numbers, come later, they were bigger than those offered by Paris at the time.