Gothia Cup

The Champions League winner Djimi Traoré: “A fantastic tournament”

The Champions League champion Djimi Traoré is here with Right to Dream.

Djimi Traoré won the legendary Champions League final back in 2005 with Liverpool FC. Now he’s in Gothenburg as the coach for Right to Dream from Ghana.
– Gothia Cup is a fantastic tournament, says Djimi Traoré.

Djimi Traore was a great defender during his career. He played for big clubs like Liverpool FC, Monaco and Marseille. He won the famous Champions League final in Istanbul 2005. Milan had the lead with 3-0 before Liverpool FC came back and scored three goals in an epic second half. LFC then won the game on penalties.
– The Champions League final is the best memory from my career. It’s the best one. It’s something people come to me and talk about all the time. It’s a few years later you realize that you were part of something amazing and fantastic. People still talk about the final, almost 20 years later, says Djimi Traoré when we meet him at Heden.
He enjoyed the final to the fullest.
– It was the best experience, you’re not always lucky to get the opportunity to play in a Champions League final. I was part of that and it was with Liverpool, which is a massive club. That makes it a bigger story. It was a fantastic experience for me, says the former left back.
He made an important goal line clearance.
– It was part of my job. I needed to defend, help my team and contribute in my way. We won the final all together, says the Champions League winner.

Now he’s in Gothenburg as a coach for Right to Dream.
– I feel great to be here. It’s a fantastic tournament. It’s a great opportunity for boys and girls from different cultures and countries to come together and play this tournament.
He never played in the Gothia Cup himself.
– I wish I had played it, because it’s a fantastic experience to play against people from different countries, cultures and backgrounds. Our boys from Ghana don’t travel that often. For some of them, it’s their first time in Europe. I tell them to embrace the tournament every minute and to talk to people, because this is not only about football, it’s on and off the field.
He likes to be a coach.
– I’m a normal coach. I love what I do every day when I wake up. I want all of the boys to be successful. If I can help them even if with one percent, it’s great for me. It’s about them in the end of the day. I’m here to support them and guide them and share my knowledge.
Right to Dream plays very entertaining football.
– We want to play our style of play. We love to be in control of the possession. We want to score as many goals as possible. Our mindset is to attack, attack and attack and to have a good structure in the defense as well.

He thinks he benefits from having been a professional player.
– I want to learn the players to be strong mentally, because football isn’t only about talent. It’s very tough. Only eleven players can play on the field. You need to be strong even if you don’t get to play. I think it’s the players with great mentality that make it to the highest level, says Djimi Traoré.
He's happy to be able to work for Right to Dream.
– It’s fantastic to work for a great organization. I embrace the culture and the values. It’s amazing to be with the players on a daily basis.
He represented Mali and he thinks it’s nice to now live in Ghana.
– Africa is beautiful. I love it!
His focus is to develop and help young, talented players to reach their potential.
– I’m here and I enjoy it. Football is my passion. I enjoy to be a coach. I want the boys to have a great experience and enjoy it, says the former Liverpool FC player.

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