I knew it had to be some magical potion or incantation that caused France to succeed once again over the odds-on favorite Brazil with all it big stars and talent. In the second half, I saw the reason. The camera flashed to the stands and there with Caroline Duret, the protocol manager for Platini during the FIFA World Cup France 1998, was Youri Djorkaeff, the 38 year old veteran French Midfielder who was a big part of the successful World Cup winning team 8 years ago over the same Brazilian finalist in the Stade de France, St. Denis.
Youri now plays for the Red Bulls in New York, and he left the team prior to its road trip to New England where the Red Bulls lost Saturday to the Revolution 2-3 citing personal family reasons. Djorkaeff is the one legitimate talent on an otherwise very ordinary MLS team in the League's highest profile market. They just fired their coach Mo Johnston and gave the interim position to Richie Williams. They might well have considered a better choice. The mature Djorkaeff, with enormous international experience could well have been considered the logical first choice.
I don't know what provoked Youri's trip. Maybe it was just his loyalty to his old teammates? Maybe a message for the Red Bulls that their view of the future is not the same as his? What I do know is that during a very dismal period of this team's history, the one producer the Bulls had was Youri Djorkaeff. I am glad that he was able to be in Frankfurt with his football family. I consider him my friend and am happy that he could be united in Frankfurt on this occasion.
My message to the Red Bulls: Get over it. Find the best way to use the asset you have been blessed with and turn your attention back to how to build a viable winning team in America's most important market.
To Youri, and your support of your friends, colleagues and nation... Vive le France!!!