Youri Djorkaeff celebrated championships on plenty of occasions during his illustrious career. (Photo courtesy of Your Djorkaeff Foundation)
In an interview during the MetroStars training camp in Bradenton, Fla. in February 2006, Djorkaeff sat down with BigAppleSoccer.com editor Michael Lewis and talked about his career, which included France’s fabulous run during the 1998 World Cup.
By Michael Lewis
There may be one thing better than scoring a goal in the World Cup.
That might be setting one up in the championship game.
While he ever talks about it, New York Red Bulls midfielder-forward Youri Djorkaeff served the corner kick for France’s second goal in its 3-0 victory over Brazil in the 1998 World Cup finale.
Djorkaeff got France off on the right foot, connecting for the team’s first goal — a penalty kick in the 12th minute in its 2-1 opening game victory over Denmark on June 24 in Lyon, in the city where Djorkaeff was born and did most of his growing up.
“Scoring a World Cup goal in my city, in front of my parents and my family . . . it was really fantastic,” Djorkaeff said.
But the best was yet to come — as the final seconds of the opening half of the championship match were ticking down.
The French already had a 1-0 lead, thanks to a Zinedine Zidane header off a corner kick.
The hosts were awarded another corner and Zidane was about to take it before Djorkaeff intervened.
“I said, ‘No, no, no. Stay here. You are good with the head,’ ” Djorkaeff said he told Zidane. “I go to kick the ball. I take the responsibility. We can score a goal. If I shoot badly, I can concede a goal and it’s my fault. You have to take responsibility.
“I kicked the corner and he scored and it killed the game.”
Here is a story you might be interested in: