Emmanuel Dorado knows how hard things were for Livingston back in his playing days – which is why he’s keen for the current Lions crop to emulate his achievements.
The French defender arrived at Livi as his career came to a close in the early 2000s, having been at PSG as a youth player and featuring for teams such as Malaga in the Spanish top flight. But it was with the Lions in 2004 where he became a legend, winning the League Cup.
Dorado told NTOF of how he ended up in Livingston and why it was a such a special time: “Livingston and the victory in 2004 is one of the best memories in my football career. I have three very important things in my career; winning the youth cup with PSG, the League Cup with Livingston and playing with Malaga.
“In Scotland, it is very difficult to win something if you aren’t Celtic or Rangers. If I could go back into the past, I would arrive in Scotland younger. When I got to Livingston, it was the end of my career. I wish I could have went younger.
“When I was at Malaga, we got to La Liga. But it got difficult after that as they signed the son of the chairman at Real Madrid in my position! My agent offered me to go to Scotland and my friend, Francisco Javier Sánchez Broto (former Livingston goalkeeper), told me to come to Livingston, the people are nice, you will enjoy it.
“I enjoyed the Scottish mentality as everyone was so nice. Livingston was very friendly and it was very professional. The worst thing was the weather! I was coming from Malaga, left in shorts and t-shirt, and when I arrived in Livingston it was cold, grey, dark.
“I thought I could never play here but I changed my mind as I wanted to improve myself and prove that I could play everywhere. When I was there, it was a great period for Scottish football.”
David Martindale’s men take on St Johnstone this Sunday as they look to repeat the success of Dorado and the 2004 side who beat Hibs. That feat was completed in the midst of financial hardship, Livingston then in administration, Dorado himself impacted by this as wages were unpaid.
But he still holds lots of love for Livingston and is hopeful that Martindale’s men can deliver success: “I will find some solution to see the game and I want to enjoy it – I will be one more supporter of Livingston. But I will be a little sad as Hampden Park will not be full.
“It’s a beautiful stadium. I have played in the Bernabeu and Parc De Princes but Hampden was special. You had all the supporters of Hibs and then a very small section of yellow Livingston – but we won – so we were very happy. All the players were very good, we made the Scottish Cup semi-final too. We were confident in ourselves.
“It was in 2004, so many years ago. I would like to go in the past but these players can become legends within the Livingston support. 2004 is too long now. I keep all the positives, even if I left by the door outside, it’s part of the past.
“It’s part of my beautiful life in football that I have had. I still keep Livingston very close to my heart and I am still a big supporter of Livingston. I am very happy for them, they have come very far from very difficult years. But now they have a good team to build very high and I hope they win the cup.”
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