Monday, April 6, 2009

Vikash Dhorasoo Loves Poor Kids, Hates Zizou

This may be the only pic in existence of Dhorasoo on the pitch for Les Bleus.

Let me start off by saying that I think that Vikash Dhorasoo is quite the humanitarian. He has been active against racism in football, is one of the main sponsors of Paris Football Gay (an anti-homophobic football club based in the capital), and fights poverty in Mauritius (where his grandparents are from). However, he is also a cranky, disgruntled former footballer.

Dhorasoo has been in Delhi recently in an attempt to expand the presence of football in India, given the relative lack of Indian athletes in "major" sports. On Saturday he played in a friendly match against a squad led by India defender Renedy Singh. While the majority of his focus is to spot talent among the poverty-stricken street children of Delhi, Vikash apparently felt the need to also speak up about his former captain.

In describing Zizou's charity work (in contrast to his own), he stated flatly that he had a humanitarian purpose while Zidane had only a financial one for this efforts. When asked about the pressure of stepping in to the midfielder role to replace the legendary Zinedine Zidane, Dhorasoo asked "Who is Zidane?" While that by itself could be taken as a joke, he continued:

"We are not friends. We are workers, and football is a job like any other. So, there will be competition. Yes, Zidane's return to the team (to help coach Raymond Domenech's badly struggling team qualify for 2006 World Cup) wasn't good for me."

Yes, clearly the return of one of the game's greatest midfielders ever was not beneficial to the playing time of Dhorasoo, but if the latter really cared about Les Bleus he would have recognized that it was beneficial to the team. Perhaps he is still upset that he recorded only 18 appearances for the national team, scoring only 1 goal in that time. Or perhaps he feels the weight of having disappointed everyone who thought that he had such promise as a young midfielder. After starting his career at Le Havre, Dhorasoo then went on to play 238 matches for Lyon, Bordeaux, AC Milan, and Paris Saint-Germain, but scored only 12 goals in 9 years of football (although he won 2 titles with Lyon, and finished 2nd in Serie A with AC Milan).

But in truth, it is likely that Vikash Dhorasoo is just a bitter, disgruntled footballer who spent only 16 minutes on the pitch in World Cup 2006, and decided to make a petulant film about the experience. "The Substitute" revealed his frustration at his lack of playing time, and made public some of the behind-the-scenes discontent of Les Bleus (which, at the time, most people already knew about) during their run to the finals. His teammates were not happy that he had made their dressing-room arguments public, and Dhorasoo was (rightly) ostracized.

So, you were a disappointing midfielder who was disappointed by your lack of playing time, you went public with private disagreements, and now you are taking potshots at the living legend of French football?

Umm, va te faire.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Dhorasoo was introduced to me by 'the substitute.' I haven't cared about since. Zidane probably feels the same way.