Youri Djorkaeff’s (left) starred for the French national team as well. (Photo courtesy of FIFA)

With former MetroStars/Red Bulls midfielder-forward Youri Djorkaeff, the CEO of the FIFA Foundation, in the news with his organization planning a fundraiser for the COVID-19 pandemic, we are reposting a three-part series about the French World Cup champion that was originally published at in 2006.

By Michael Lewis

If you called New York Red Bulls midfielder-forward Youri Djorkaeff a chip off the old block, you would be right on.

Not only did Jean Djorkaeff play more than 500 games in the French Football League, he also performed in the World Cup.

Jean, who will celebrate his 67th birthday on Oct. 27, played 16 seasons as a pro, wearing the uniform for Lyon (1958-1066), Marseille (1966-1970) and Paris Saint-German (1970-1972). Djorkaeff, who started as a forward, but forged a reputation as a quality central defender, twice was a member of the French Cup championship side (with Lyon and Marseille).

Nicknamed “Tchouki,” the elder Djorkaeff played in 48 international matches, scoring three times. He also captained the team.

He started three games for France at the 1966 World Cup in England and eventually coached the Armenia national team.

According to, Djorkaeff is director of the Coupe de France commission.

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THE MAKING OF A CHAMPION: Repost: How Djorkaeff became the player he is