Patrice Evra has been under some scrutiny recently after calling 1998 World Cup winner Bixente Lizarazu and three other commentators “tramps” after France’s 3-0 win over Finland. Lizarazu and his fellow pundits criticised an impromptu half-time talk Evra gave his team-mates during the qualifying game against Belarus in September, which France won 4-2.
The French Football Federation (FFF) investigated the comments but cleared him of any wrong-doing.
“Patrice Evra remains at the disposal of the national coach,” the FFF stated. “Evra, for his part, wanted to reiterate his commitment to the team and his love of the blue France jersey, and promised he had not wanted to damage French football or its image in any way. He eventually cracked after a long interview skilfully conducted to wind him up.”
When being interviewed by Telefoot about the incident, he was also asked about his future at United, with his contract set to expire at the end of the season. Evra claimed that the club wanted him to sign a new deal but, the way his response was reported, there was a suggestion that the player would be leaving for “personal reasons”.
Evra has moved to clear up any confusion over his comments though and insists that he loves the club.
“The problem with me is I don’t read the papers so I don’t know what people are saying about me,” he said. “I had a French interview and I said: “It’s personal’ meaning ‘I don’t want to talk about it”. Maybe some people [outside] want me to leave the club but that’s not the case. I will answer if somebody wants to talk about my contract because I think it ends after this year but then they have to talk with Manchester United and my agent. Me? I love this club so much. The only thing I can say is it [the French interview] was a big misunderstanding.”