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Evra on Ferguson | "For me, he is bigger than a manager"

In his new autobiography I Love This Game, Patrice Evra details his complex, profound relationship with Alex Ferguson

Evra on Ferguson |

Evra on Ferguson | "For me, he is bigger than a manager"

Former Manchester United and France defender Patrice Evra has explained the level of trust he has in his former manager, Alex Ferguson. 

Evra spent eight years at Old Trafford, making 273 appearances for the Red Devils between 2006 and 2014.

In his new autobiography, I Love This Game, Evra details his complex, profound relationship with Ferguson, from when he joined United from AS Monaco to the present day.

"[For me] he's bigger than a manager", the ex-French full-back told Adrian Barry on OTB AM. "I told him before other people that I was releasing the book. He is someone I really trust."

"When I signed, he told me: 'Patrice, you know here, you can really be yourself. I always say around the definition of the relationship between myself and Ferguson that I was scared to disappoint him. It was such mature respect.

"I'm going to see him on Saturday; we'll have lunch, and I will introduce him to Margaux and my baby Lilas.

"We talked last night; he told me: 'I'm going to sue you with my lawyers because you speak too highly of me!'"

Evra: "When the game starts, you need to bleed for United"

Evra revealed that he was one of the first to be told of Ferguson's brain hemorrhage in May 2018.

"When his son Jason sent me a message saying, 'Patrice, I want to ensure you my Dad will be ok, and you were one of the few people he was happy to give any news', I felt very privileged."

"Our connection will never end, and it's getting better and better.

"You see him give the hairdryer to so many players and some of them cry. You can be scared of your Dad, but Ferguson is something else.

"I always think he is going to have a heart attack, the way he is shouting with the vein and the face. Outside the pitch, he is amazing, but when the game starts, you need to bleed for United."

That is not to suggest that there weren't some tetchy moments between the two of them. Evra recounts an ill-tempered incident in the dressing room during one match.

"We were winning against Tottenham, and I was playing an amazing game," he recalled. "We came back at half-time and everyone was like 'Patrice, you're on fire'. The boss didn't speak for three to five minutes and when he doesn't speak, it's like somebody is in trouble."

"And he looked at me and said, 'Patrice, are you ok?' And I said, 'yes, I'm ok.' He said 'are you tired?' And when he said that, I looked around - I thought it was a prank. I said, 'no, I'm not', and I was smiling."

"And he said, 'why did you pass the ball back to Edwin van der Sar?' I said, 'because I didn't have any solution forward.'"

"He destroyed me - I didn't like the injustice"

"He said: 'If you do that again, you're going to end up watching the game next to me. This is one of the worst games you've played since you started playing for United.'"

"He destroyed me," Evra contends. "I didn't like the injustice, so I stood up and we were face-to-face, and I was so angry. The second half we win 4-0.

"The next day, I asked him for a chat as I wanted to understand what was happening, so I knock on his office door.

"He said: 'Oh, son; you were the best player on the pitch, but because Cristiano Ronaldo was doing some tricks, the players were missing some chances. When you play for United, you have to score one goal, then the second, then the third.' And he told me to get out of his office."

"In the end, I understood," Evra concluded. "I knew he wanted to send a message to the team. He picked on the best player on the pitch, so the other players will think that if he is killing me, imagine [what he thinks of] them.

"It's just that type of relationship about trust. You know, I can do anything for him."

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Alex Ferguson Football On Off The Ball I Love This Game Manchester United OTB Football Old Trafford Patrice Evra