‘I’m Not Ashamed Of My Own Goal — It’s Part Of My Story,’ Djimi Traoré Says

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It’s impossible to avoid certain themes in the company of certain people, and Djimi Traoré undoubtedly knew what was coming before the conversation even began. We were meeting through Zoom mostly to talk about his coaching career, which has taken him from Seattle to Scandinavia, but there was unavoidably a need to address the elephant in the room. Or, to be more specific, the own goal against Burnley.

It’s a blunder that has gone down in football mythology and characterized Traoré’s career, which spanned 18 years and saw him play for 10 clubs in three countries, represent Mali, and win a slew of trophies, including the Champions League with Liverpool. It is an impressive CV, but ask most people, particularly Liverpool fans, to describe Traoré as a clumsy and limited defender, with much of that owing to what he did at Turf Moor in January 2005, when attempting to clear a Richard Chaplow cross with a Cruyff-like turn that went so badly wrong that the ball ended up dribbling off his left instep and into an empty net.

“It was my fault. I take responsibility for it,” Traoré says of the goal that saw Burnley, then of the Championship, dump Liverpool, in their first season under Rafael Benítez, out of the FA Cup in the third round. “I was trying to turn with the ball but it bounced on the wrong part of the field, hit my achilles and went in. A big mistake and Rafa thought the same – that is why he subbed me [14 minutes later]. He also told me I had been too relaxed in the game and the own goal was my punishment for that. I agreed with him.

source : guardian sport

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