View Full Version : Youri Djorkaeff 2006 MLS Season will be final year as a pro-soccer player.

05-04-06, 02:37 PM
Youri Djorkaeff says that the 2006 MLS season will be his final year as a pro soccer player. New York Red Bulls midfielder-forward Youri Djorkaeff was quoted in today's editions of "Le Matine" that he will retire at the end of this MLS season.

The Portuguese website A Bola reported the news Thursday morning.

Djorkaeff, 38, a member of France's 1998 World Cup and 2000 Euro championship teams, has performed with the Red Bulls since last season.

He was voted the team MVP in 2005 after scoring 10 goals and creating seven others. He has two goals in five games for the winless Bulls (0-1-4) this season.

Djorkaeff, who returned home to France because the Red Bulls have a bye this weekend, was in Lyon this week, publicizing his autobiography, "Snake."

Djorkaeff reportedly accused former Kaiserslautern coach Andreas Brehme while he played at the Bundesliga club. Brehme, who converted a penalty kick for Germany in its 1-0 World Cup final win over Argentina in 1990, reportedly countered by saying Djorkaeff didn't speak German and trained on his own.

Djorkaeff could not be reached for comment.

On March 29, Djorkaeff was quoted by BigAppleSoccer.com about the possibility of retiring after this season.

"I'm sure," he said. "No, no I'm not sure. The French . . . (are) never sure."

The writers who were gathered around him then laughed.

But then the member of France?s 1998 World Cup championship team got serious and explained why the 2006 could be his final as a pro after 22 seasons.

"Because I'm 38," he said. "I'm sure one day my passion will be less than today. I'm sure I'll find less pleasure going to the training. I would prefer to stop when I'm still happy, still a good job and still enjoy playing soccer."

And if this indeed will be Djorkaeff's last hurrah, will he go out and give it just a little more?

"You know what? I'm still thinking is my first season," he said. "Not that I'm 18-years-old. But I'm thinking this is my first season, my first game. For that, I am still inside a player, a guy who wants to play, a guy who wants to go onto the field every morning to train and have a good time."

Djorkaeff said he will know when to hang up his competitive boots for good, although he had a feeling last season when the MetroStars went down to a 4-1 home loss to rival D.C. United on Oct. 1. It turned out to be Bob Bradley's final game as Metros coach as he was fired by team president and general manager Alexi Lalas two days later.

"The players were not really involved in the game and it was an important home game," Djorkaeff said. "I said Bob, ?I'm nothing to do here. If the game is like this, a derby, we play like this and players are not involved more like this, I lose my time.?

"He came to my home and we had coffee together. We talked a long time, trying to finish the season. Trying? I can try. But I want to be sure the team will be 100 percent. It was OK. Some players came on my side. It is right. The level of the game has to be higher if you want to participate in the playoffs. I was happy with the answers of the players. I continued to play.

"When the season was finished, I talked to Mo (Johnston, who succeeded Bradley). I said, 'No I do not want to have the same team as last year when . . . we didn't win in so many important games -- apart from New England home and Washington away we did not win the big game."