French World Cupper Dhorasoo’s date with Indian street children

April 4th, 2009 - 6:55 pm ICT by IANS  

AC Milan New Delhi, April 4 (IANS) For kids like Ram Kewal, Raju, Anis, who have grown up living on the streets of Delhi, it was a special Saturday morning. Playing along side French World Cup footballer Vikash Dhorasso was something they never dreamt of, but it came true.
For the 35-year-old Dhorasoo, who has his roots in Andhra Pradesh, it was like a home coming though he is on his first trip to India. Dhorasoo, whose parents migrated to Mauritius from Andhra Pradesh before settling in France, said it was a wonderful experience to stand up for a social cause, which he has done throughout his career.

He led Dhorasoo XI to a 5-0 win against Renedy Singh (India vice-captain) XI in an exhibition match at the St. Columba’s School to kick off a talent hunt programme among street children. The Frenchman is the brand ambassador of the event - DSC Soccer Balak Ki Khoj - that is being organised by London-based Consortium For Street Children.

“I am not here to find the next Zidane. I am here to help and hope to see an Indian playing in some top league abroad. But it won’t happen tomorrow. It will take time,” Dhorasoo said.

Dhorasoo could connect to the kids as he also comes from a poor background. He grew up in the tough suburbs of Le Havre in France, fighting racism. He hung up his boots after the 2006 World Cup after earning 18 caps for the Les Blues and successful stints with Olympic Lyon, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain.

Before the 2006 World Cup, he was tipped to take the place of retired Zidane, who came out of retirement to lead France to the final. Dhorasoo represented France in the World Cup coming on as substitute in two matches.

“World Cup was a great experience. It was a great moment for me. I didn’t play; it was the choice of the coach. Zidane’s comeback was unfortunately not good for me,” he said.

Warming the bench, Dhorasoo utilised the time in preparing a secret documentary “Substitute” that showed the life of a footballer on the reserve bench. The film was screened at the IDFA Documentary Festival in Amsterdam in November. Though he isn’t making any more films but he is hooked to Bollywood movies.

Humming lines like Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy (from “Disco Dancer”) and My Name is Anthony Gonsalves (from “Amar Akbar Anthony”), Dhorasoo said that this is not going to be his last trip to India as he wants to work for more such social causes.

“I am working with the Mayor of Paris for the development of underprivileged children. Here (India) it is a wonderful opportunity for me and I didn’t think twice after I was offered this role. Here I feel like an average Indian,” he said.

Dhorasoo said that he can offer a lot to Indian football and met officials of All India Football Federation (AIFF).

“I can do a lot for Indian football. India is a virgin territory for football It is a big business and I am hopeful that the situation in India can change,” he said.

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