Patrice Evra recognises he will have a difficult time against Lionel Messi tomorrow evening, although reckons he is up to the task.

“I remember in my first interview after I arrived in Manchester, I said: ‘I didn’t come here to play in the Champions League, I have come to win it’,” Evra said. “At the moment I have one, but I want a second one and then a third one. That is my objective. Of course I will endure a difficult night against Messi. I know that. I have a lot of respect for him but I am confident I can handle him. I know that I could make 20 challenges and then lose just one and he could score. People would then say that I have failed. It is up to me to ensure that the story has a positive ending. Ferguson has said: ‘Messi? Pat will take care of him’. I hope I don’t disappoint him. I feel strong though. People can call me arrogant, but why should I lie? Of course I feel strong and of course I am proud as well. I am at the top of the pyramid, but I am not stupid and I realise that one small step could see me fall down very quickly.”

Evra remembers the conversation Sir Alex Ferguson had with his players after our Champions League final win in Moscow last season.

“After the win in Moscow last year, on our way back, the coach stood up and said: ‘Gentlemen, I want to thank you, but next year I will look into everyone’s eyes and I will see if you are still hungry. The ones that are not hungry anymore will be out of the team’,” recalled Era. “That is what it is like here – you win and you have to forget about it, you win again and you have to forget about it again. In a way it is a shame that we don’t get to celebrate the titles, but that is what a winning culture is all about.”




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