Everyone was supporting the French in our city during the World Cup in 1998. Why? Because our Armenians were playing there –Yuri Djorkaeff and Allen Pogosian. I had little idea about football and preferred to play rather then watch.
But I watched France-Brazil finals with my father. I saw “our Armenians” at last, saw Zidane as well and started to support the French team.
I had already met 2 footballers from my childhood team- Deshcamps and Lizarazu , the third is Yuri Djorkaeff.
Open, communicative, free, charismatic, interesting – this is how he was. I met and talked to him a couple of times during his 4 day visit to Armenia but I wanted to have special interview.
Finally, after a charity football game when Djorkaeff answered to journalists questions and was hurrying to leave I approached, “Excuse me, I want to talk in person, will you give me 5 minutes?”.
“Yes, sure, if you walk with me”.
“With pleasure”, I answered and glanced at my questions.
Djorkaeff was named a “Snake” in France. The press used this word to describe him for his ability to overcome the defenders sliding.
I’m still the same person that can change the game. My enthusiasm and confidence help me to change the game. I don’t know how to explain it, but it’s just something that I have.
I can’t tell you what Armenia is to me. Armenia and Armenians are unexplainable feelings. I was always connected and had a great love towards this country and the people. Coming here is a celebration to me every time.
The most unforgettable memories from my childhood are connected with my grandparents, with whom we had happy and carefree days. It’s with the help of them that I didn’t go far from my roots. My grandmother was making very tasty Armenian dishes. I still can’t forget their taste.
Football has always been with me. My father who had been in the French team, bought the symbol of the Championship that took place in 1966. It was my favorite childhood toy. I had no idea what I would be doing after finishing my career. I took a rest for some time and realized that I want to get back to the field again.
Great guys were gathered in our team in 1998. We all understood each other very well. Winning the Brazilian team was unforgettable. We were the World Champions.
I will definitely come to Armenia again, this time with my wife and children. Maybe that will happen next year.
We approached to the car, “last question”, he said. I looked at my questions, that weren’t finished yet and I didn’t know which one to ask.
“You know a little Armenian. What is your favorite word?
He thought “It’s a very good question”, he thought again and said “gsirem” (“I love”- edit.).
Gohar Nalbandyan talked to Youri Djorkaeff