141. This is the number of games that Djimi Traore played with Liverpool.
Impressive. But far from easy. It took a strong mentality, lots of consistency, and adaptability.
And these valuable attributes and experiences – along with the highest level of football training, of course - are what he has been teaching and sharing with the Right to Dream student-athletes since he joined us as head coach in September 2021.
“I wasn’t the best player. I had a lot of criticism but when you watch my career in Liverpool, I’m one of the more consistent players and I played 141 games. That’s why I have the respect of my teammates and the coach,”
“I faced a language barrier when I moved to England. It was hard but I learned to adapt, and I made sacrifices on and off the field.”
Djimi has a wealth of experience. He won the Champions League with Liverpool. He also had stints at Rennes and Monaco and other European sides. He moved to the US to play at the MLS with Seattle Sounders. And when he retired, he joined the MLS side as an Assistant Coach.
And he believes there’s no such thing as a bad experience.
“I learn from any experience. You need to fight. And you need to adapt. I played in France. I played in England. I played in America and now I’m in Denmark coaching so I always try to adapt where I am.”
His work at Right to Dream has been a way of giving back to football. He prepares young players for their next steps of their careers and shares his experience with them. And he supports their evolving dreams, be it through our professional football pathway or academic pathway.
And over the past year only, six Right to Dream graduates kick started their professional journeys with our club in Denmark, FCN, while seven graduates joined schools across the US and UK.
“That’s why I joined the organization to give my experience to young African players but European players as well that’s why I like the mix.”
“I love to work with young players because they’re like a sponge. They want to get your experience. They want to get your advice. And I love that, so I give it to them. And I love to see the way they grow and the way they improve,”
Head over to our Youtube channel to hear more about Djimi’s experience, how the 2005 Champions League final has shaped his career, and how he seeks to inspire young talents and help them pursue their dreams.