'I’m proud of achievements' - ex-Liverpool man Djimi Traore to retire

Anfield Pitch

Former Liverpool defender Djimi Traore, who won the Champions League during his time at Anfield, is ready to call time on his playing days.

Whenever a professional footballer announces that he is to hang up his boots, it is custom to turn back the clock and reflect on what he has, or has not, achieved during the course of said career.

In Djimi Traore’s case, he will be forever defined by two appearances in the colours of Liverpool.

At one end of that particular scale is the highest of highs, a memorable evening in Istanbul which saw the Reds conquer Europe for a fifth time with a quite remarkable victory over AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League final.

For all of heroics of Steven Gerrard and Jerzy Dudek, it is worth remembering that Traore contributed fully to that success and will forever own a place in Anfield folklore as a result.

It is, however, for an unfortunate own goal a few months prior to that Turkish delight that the Frenchman is arguably better known.

Even Liverpool supporters would probably offer up an FA Cup outing against Burnley as Traore’s most notable for the club, rather than his showing on the grandest of continental stages.

Somehow managing to turn a spinning back heel past his own goalkeeper in January 2005, a man who went on to represent Charlton Athletic, Portsmouth and Birmingham City before departing English shores is considered by many to be more a figure of fun than one deserving of credit and praise.

Traore, though, insists that he will look back on his time at Liverpool with great pride, with the 34-year-old preparing to slip into retirement at the end of the MLS season with the Seattle Sounders.

He told the Guardian: “I think I’m going to retire soon. Yeah, I am. We’re talking about the next few weeks.

“I’m not ashamed of anything I did about at Liverpool. It was hard for me – when I went there I was 19, coming from a small club in France [Laval] to one of the best in England. When I look back I’m very proud of what I achieved.

“When you look at the foreign players who came to Liverpool around that time I played more games than most of them. I know I was not the best but I certainly tried my hardest and I’m very proud because in winning the Champions League I achieved something that few people have.”

Traore spent seven years on the books at Liverpool and headed for the exits in 2006 with FA Cup, League Cup, Champions League and Community Shield honours on which to reflect.

There are plenty to have turned out for the Reds in the years that have followed that have not come close to securing such an enviable collection of winners’ medals.

Traore, therefore, has every right to feel proud of achievements and, whatever his legacy may be, it can be argued that it is better to be remembered for something than to slip quietly into the shadows with it barely registering that you have gone.

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