Image source: VBET
Exclusive: Ex-Bolton star Youri Djorkaeff speaks on club’s current situation and reveals how Sam Allardyce convinced him to join them
Former Bolton and France national team midfielder and Vbet ambassador Youri Djorkaeff recalled his time with the Wanderers.
The 1998 World Cup champion answered our questions.
He told me he really needed someone who could bring Bolton to a different level. He was expecting an ambassador, an example for the team’s youth.
Bolton was moving up and down between the first and second leagues each season. He wanted to stay in League 1 (Premier League).
When I signed with Bolton, we were at the bottom of the table and we were about to get relegated to the second division, but we managed to do so well that we stayed in the first division and I had a very successful year. Sam said that I brought something new, something different to the team.
Playing in England. It was a long time goal of mine. I knew that football and life would be very different when I moved to Bolton, that it would be a whole new experience.
I really enjoyed playing there, meeting and spending time with my fans and being surrounded by great people.
I played in Italy, France and the USA, but England is a very special country for a football player. I was blessed to play in a club that was not too popular or the best in England because it made our victories more significant. We were really close, everyone was friendly. Bolton was a family.
During my first year with the club, we beat Chelsea, we beat Manchester United and played a draw against Arsenal. It was a great year, we had all these big games where we were the underdogs but still managed to come ahead and prove that we deserved our place in the PL.
We did it. We beat the greatest clubs in the PL and it was fantastic.
Also, when we got to the finals of the Carling Cup. Unfortunately, we lost, but getting to the finals was a huge achievement for a team like Bolton.
Our local derbies against Leeds and Blackburn.
When you play against giants like Liverpool or Manchester United the atmosphere is great in the stadium, but most of the people are still cheering for you.
Things were very different during derbies, they were massive, you could feel the tension in the air, these clubs were old rivals. It was amazing.
I choose the games against Leeds and Blackburn.
When we were playing local derbies against Leeds United or Blackburn. Great atmosphere at the stadium, when you play against Liverpool or Manchester United, but those matches were not derbies, because they are bigger. I choose the games against Leeds and Blackburn. It was massive.
I’m saddened by the problems of the club. Bolton means a lot for the people in the area. We did so well for all these years. It’s unfortunate that the club did not have the right people at the helm to build on our achievements.
Ivan Campo. He is my friend. When he arrived at Bolton, it was special. We had great players, but Ivan, with his character and personality, was someone that I really liked.