Thinking with your feet: the story of Vikash Dhorasoo

I wanted to play football, even if it could have led me to deal with men that my morale disapproves of, or with whom I have almost nothing to share. I would have played football even for the sect of Moon in South Korea, or even for Berlusconi. I could have, yes. Better still: I did it.
The words of Vikash Dhorasoo, a former French footballer of Mauritian origin, born in 1973, a midfielder, with a very respectable list of achievements: twice winner of the French title with Lyon (championships 2002-2003 and 2003-2004), vice-champion of Europe with AC Milan in 2005 and vice-world champion with France national team after the defeat on penalties against the Azzurri in the final in Berlin on July 9, 2006.

Dhorasoo, a professional storyteller

An intelligent player not only on the football field, Dhorasoo has recently published his autobiography. Just like in the case of the former Rossoneri midfielder, who, moreover, remains a particular character for the world of football and was, among other things, already the author of Substitute, a documentary presented at the Berlinale in 2007, made in collaboration with Fred Poulet.
The documentary focuses on Dhorasoo's experience during the World Cup, when he was forced to live the entire final phase on the bench and, in order not to get bored, he went around the field and dressing rooms filming his teammates with an old Super 8 Bauer camera.

Football is also loved because it tells the story of boredom, dead time, emptiness and injustice.

The story of Dhorasoo

Dhorasoo was the youngest son of a family of Mauritians of Indian origin, raised in Le Havre in the multi-ethnic district of Caucriauville. Brought up amidst the scents of curry and frying, the second generation French and proudly left-wing, Dhorasoo, admits at the beginning of the book and considering his own origins, that he was probably destined more to become a cricket or badminton player, if not a Bollywood actor.
The San Siro stadium in Milan, where Dhorasoo played with the Milan jersey
At least until Dhorasoo started kicking a ball in the shadow of the building in which he lives, and that's when the story changed to become that guy who loved playing with his feet. This is the story that his autobiography wants to tell and retrace (also to overturn the stereotype of the despised footballer because they are rough and stupid), a story known to all footballers. Young people to whom the whole world rebukes the fact that their childhood passion has ended up thrilling the whole planet.
The Parc du Princes in Paris.
But the footballers' passion is above all an intimate story, a contest of improbable circumstances, a very hard journey. It is the story of modern heroes in civil society, a visual and spectacular story, like a film whose end is known. But paradoxically, the film is often slow and boring, because football is a sport that starts 0-0 and can end 0-0 and that’s why people love it, because it tells the story of boredom, downtime, emptiness and injustice.
A French stadium where Dhorasoo played.
Speaking of injustices, even a top player like Dhorasoo has lived many due to the colour of his skin. For example, in 2005 the then mayor of Paris wanted to visit the club Paris Saint-Germain at the beginning of the season and asked the new player who just arrived from Milan if he spoke French (the quick response was: I speak French and even play for France). Or when he came to Milan to see a florist at Brera and was mistaken for a beggar.

A common history of lived life, more than an epic one

Dhorasoo’s best moment in career, however, is perhaps when played for AC Milan, even despite the Champions League final lost in Istanbul in 2005 against Liverpool, but by virtue of the esteem for teammates such as Maldini, Costacurta and Seedorf and for the coach Ancelotti himself.
The Park of the Princes of Paris seen from above
Dhorasoo began in Ligue 1 in the ranks of Le Havre in the 1993-1994 season, he started to get a pain in his thigh which continued to Lyon, to arrive, after the two seasons in the Rossoneri, at Paris Saint-Germain and the French national team of Domenech. Dhorasoo hesitated to enter the field in the last game of the round against Togo and this resulted in not playing for the entire World Cup.

In Milan he went to a florist in Brera and was mistaken for a beggar.

A sad end of career is eventually also his final season. In 2007 in Livorno, Dhorasoo does not even play a game there. His autobiography has little to do with the biographies of the great champions who are still crowding our bookstores. His explains the common stories of lived life, more than the epic stories of the few.

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