PATRICE EVRA may have started his playing career as a winger but it’s as a full-back where he really made his name.
With over 700 games chalked up over a professional career spanning 20 years, Evra amassed an enviable amount of silverware including five Premier League titles and a Champions League in an eight-year spell at Manchester United and two Doubles with Juventus before announcing his retirement today.
Retiring Patrice Evra won five Premier League titles and the Champions League with Manchester United[/caption]
Evra got off to a poor start at Old Trafford but played nearly 400 games for the club[/caption]
He also picked up 81 caps for France.
But he was more more than just a great player, as his former team-mate Paul Pogba explains.
“A player I always look up to is Patrice Evra.
“He’s family, that’s how I see him, and he’s always looked after me, helped me and given me advice.
Evra, who also won two Doubles at Juventus, has been described as a ‘big brother’ to Paul Pogba[/caption]
“He’s someone on the pitch who is very serious and very professional, yet away from the pitch he’s a brother and someone you can have a laugh with.
“He’s someone very important for a football team and for a club, and as a person he’s someone who can help you a lot.”
His upbringing caused him some issues…
Though he was born in Senegal, Evra moved to Belgium when he was a year old before settling in Paris two years later.
It was a move that would eventually help make up his mind when it came to choosing which country to play international football for.
Evra was slated for choosing France over Senegal, the country of his parents[/caption]
But the decision to pick France didn’t make his life easy, especially back in Senegal.
“I grew up amid a Senegalese culture at home,” Evra said. “But we became westernised very quickly and when I had to choose between playing for Senegal or France my father told me to follow my heart.
“I opted for France, as that was where I had grown up, but I then came in for lots of abuse in Senegal.
“I was called a monkey who grovels before the white man and labelled a money-obsessed traitor to the nation.”
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He struggled at his first club…
After unsuccessful trials with Rennes, Lens, Toulouse and Paris Saint-Germain in France, Evra got his first break as a professional player on the Italian island of Sicily when he landed a contract with Serie C1 side Marsala.
Aged 17, he was the only black player on the island.
“People were asking to have their picture taken with me because they had never seen a black guy,” he recalled.
Before joining Nice then Monaco, pictured, Evra had struggled to make his way in football[/caption]
He had a difficult start to his United career too…
Following his £5.5million move from Monaco in January 2006, Evra made his debut for the Red Devils in a 3-1 defeat to neighbours Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
The defeat was bad enough but it was worse for Evra who was taken off at half-time with manager Alex Ferguson later describing his selection as “a gamble.”
Even Evra accepted that he had failed to impress, admitting “playing for Manchester United was something I was not prepared for.”
Evra’s Manchester United debut was a disaster, with Evra taken off at half-time in a 3-1 defeat to rivals Man City[/caption]
He speaks more languages than you…
Unless you’re Roy Hodgson, maybe.
Yes, Evra speaks English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and his native French and he’s also learned some Korean too, just so he could better communicate with one of his best mates, former team-mate Park Si-Jung.
Evra struck up an unlikely friendship with Park Ji-Sung at Old Trafford – even learning South Korean to better communicate with him[/caption]
Which leads us to…
When his Park’s mother passed away in 2017, Evra flew all the way to South Korea to support his team-mate and his family.
The pair were inseparable during their time together at Old Trafford – Evra even called Park’s father ‘Papa’.
The Suarez fued…
In a clash with fierce rivals Liverpool in October 2011, Evra accused Reds star Luis Suarez of racially abusing him during the match.
The Uruguayan was later charged and found guilty, eventually being banned eight matches and getting a £40,000 fine.
Luis Suarez was banned eight games and fined £40,000 for racially abusing Evra in 2011[/caption]
Four months later the two clubs met again – and it didn’t take long for drama to unfold.
In the pre-match handshake, Suarez swerved Evra’s outstretched hand – causing the Frenchman to grab his elbow.
Rio Ferdinand in turn ignored Suarez, stating later he’d “lost all respect for the guy.”
In the opening minutes, a pent-up Evra tried to take out Suarez, instead clattering Ferdinand.
Four months later the feud reignited after Suarez swerved a handshake[/caption]
At full-time of the game, Evra then sparked a riot after celebrating in Suarez’s face[/caption]
At full-time of a 2-1 win, Evra bounced around celebrating, right next to Suarez.
Then in April 2013, Evra reopened the feud – celebrating Manchester United’s Premier League title win by biting into a severed hand to mock Suarez, who had bitten Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic the weekend before.
But he had a bit of a temper…
In November 2017, Evra had his contract at Marseille terminated after he was sent off for aiming a karate kick at the head of a fan.
The incident came before Marseille’s Europe League game at Vitoria de Guimares when Evra was verbally abused by how own fans before the kick-off and snapped, lashing out at the spectator.
He was sent off – before kick-off – and, later, fined €10,000 and banned from Uefa club matches for seven months.
Marseille pulled the plug.
“By mutual agreement, Olympique de Marseille and Patrice Evra decided to end their collaboration.
“The player’s contract is officially terminated with immediate effect,” said a statement.
And he had previous too…
Remember what happened at the 2010 World Cup Finals?
After a poor start to their defence of the title – they had drawn 0-0 with Uruguay and lost 2-0 to Mexico – striker Nicolas Anelka was sent home after an altercation with coach Raymond Domenech.
At the 2010 World Cup, Evra led a player protest against France manager Raymond Domenech[/caption]
The decision angered the rest of the French squad and it was down to Evra to lead a player protest demanding Anelka’s reinstatement.
When he argued with the team’s fitness coach Robert Duverne, Evra was stripped of the captaincy and benched for Les Bleus’ final game against the hosts South Africa.
They lost 2-1 and the champions exited at the earliest opportunity.
Evra was left out of the team for the final group game[/caption]
He’s from a big family…
In an interview in 2009, Evra confirmed that he had a grand total of 24 brothers and sisters.
Evra’s father, a diplomat for the Senegalese embassy, was married three times and divorced twice.
“I think it’s fair to say my father did not watch a lot of television,” says Evra.
He’s become a star of the internet…
Evra’s motivational videos on Monday on Instagram quickly gained a cult following, and is something he can throw himself into more now he’s hung up his boots.
From driving London taxis to dressing as Father Christmas and even talking to camels, he’s one of the best value footballers on social media today.
Evra’s James Brown impression. It’s quality…