The man with the suitcase

Youri Djorkaeff SCROLL TO READ STORIA N.48 / 110

In over 20 years of a career, he probably never unpacked that suitcase. It was always ready for a new adventure in search of new stimuli to match his ability. France, Italy, Germany, England and the United States. Five very different leagues in terms of the culture and environment but all brought together by having had the same fortune of being given the chance to admire that Frenchman who was all dribbling, creativity and technique.

Youri Djorkaeff arrived at Inter in 1996 from Paris Saint Germain for eight billion Lire. In the French capital, he had already given a glimpse of his talent which didn’t go unobserved as it caught the attention of someone who had already written some of the most important pages in Nerazzurri history: Sandro Mazzola. That was how Moratti chose Youri. There was time to finalise the details and that man with his suitcase was ready to head to Milan. You couldn’t believe your eyes after his first season. He scored 14 goals in 33 matches and some of them were stunners worth the price of admission alone. Like the bicycle kick resembling the Panini Stickers logo on 5th January 1997 which stunned Roma at San Siro.

It was a display of technique which put those in the Scala of football on  to their feet, and the referee Graziano Cesari was compelled to shake his hand. Djorkaeff gave his all and then some. Technique and genius combined with pure instinct. What he put in action was something that normal people would struggle to even think of. At that moment when the ball went into the net, it was as though everyone had already sensed it. There’s nothing more to add. To do so would be to spoil an act that was already perfect. The Nerazzurri shirt became an increasingly tight uniform. Youri felt it. He probably knew that it would finish in that way as he’d never unpacked the suitcase.  His gaze pointed forward, a restless soul that couldn’t be penned in.

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Youri Djorkaeff

Youri Raffi Djorkaeff (Lyon, 9 March 1968) arrived in the summer of 1996 for eight billion Lire. In a Nerazzurri shirt, he made 87 appearances and scored 30 goals, lifting the UEFA Cup in the 1997-98 season. He represented France 82 times, scoring 28 goals. He became a World Cup winner in 1998 and won the 2000 European Championship.