LFP's Ambassador, World Champion 98 Youri Djorkaeff gave his sense of Trophée des Champions who will oppose PSG at Stade Rennais on Saturday.
Yuri, what does the Champions Trophy represent for you?
French skill. There is a final between the champion of France and the winner of the Coupe de France. Behind a title champion, it's a long track, you were the best team. And to win the Coupe de France, you need luck, panache, character.
The Champions Trophy takes place overseas for the 11the the year in a row. What do you think of the international development of Ligue 1 Conforama?
As soon as your clubs travel abroad, you need the support of the league. The synergy that exists between the clubs and LFP is interesting. You need to ask yourself the right questions to help you grow French football and foreigners' interest in our clubs. When it comes to offshoring, I liked what was done with the BKT League Cup final. Paris centralized everything before. By opening these finals to other cities, we saw a certain enthusiasm, an impact. The tickets were gone quickly before we even knew who the finalist clubs were. Similarly, arranging foreign games such as the Champions Trophy is important for foreign fans to enjoy our clubs. Afterwards, it might be interesting to come back to play in France in a few years.
"Organize a daily presence"
OM, Saint-Etienne, Montpellier and Bordeaux have played in the EA Ligue 1 Games in the United States, playing on the New York Red Bulls. What is the image of the French Championship there?
It is evolving. Maybe not as fast as expected, but it is evolving. I know the Americans well, and they are not people waiting for you. If you come to a game of the year, they will say " thank you goodbye "What you have to do, like some big European clubs, is to organize a daily presence. Whether the clubs come or not, you have to make sure you're there. It's a kind of lobbying. You can't organize a fight, go back and be interested in the fallout just behind, for example, the German Championship is not the best in the world, but Bayern Munich is very well represented in the United States because it is a club that has been established there for some time.
So this is the model you should follow?
You don't need a "one shot", it no longer works. If you mobilize a fanbase abroad but you never come back, those fans will be disappointed. They will say to themselves: " Wait, we, we play the game, we move, we follow the team and what then? Is it just for a game and seeing you in five years? "It is true that it is organization and that it requires resources, but it is necessary to invest. We French people will say to ourselves:" It will cost us so much. We're losing money "Americans want to think," It will cost us so much. We want to invest so much "It's a way of thinking. The question is not who is right or wrong, but what the clubs want. If you want a real presence and real benefits, you have to look over 3-4 years.
"PSG is experiencing an upheaval"
How do you see this Champions Trophy between PSG and Stade Rennais?
It will be an interesting fight. Rennes has been rewarded for an incredible season, whether in the Coupe de France or the Europa League. This is a team with panache. We even wonder why Stade Rennais has not played like this in a long time. This double European and French Cup trip has brought Rene's identity and values to the public. In France, we have many clubs that have strong values and identity, and we have to put them forward. It reminded us of epics of the past, the better. The club must now take advantage of this craze and it is great. There are clubs that have stars and clubs that have less funds but an identity to present.
And what is your view on the current PSG?
The Paris club is undergoing a revolution. We feel that it is a transition, but that it is beginning to adapt, to work. There is a clear message now. Will it lead to results? I hope so, both for Paris and for French football. But before you think about the results, you have to build, and there is still something to build on PSG to meet the biggest European teams while you are sure to pass. But it will come!
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