Published On: Wed, Jun 18th, 2014

France’s Evra cautious over good atmosphere

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Patrice Evra France’s appeared in Les Bleus’ scheduled press conference today, speaking to the media for the first time since November 2012.

The former France captain had a tenuous relationship with French media following the 2010 in South Africa, when the team boycotted training. Evra was seen as one of the main leaders of the Knysna scandal, and had since limited his appearances before refraining from speaking to the media altogether.

Evra spoke to RMC and various other Brazil based media of the good atmosphere in Les Bleus’ camp and his high hopes for the team.

“All the lights are green. None of the guys want this to end. Since the France-Ukraine game, there is pride in wearing this shirt. If we continue to work hard for each other and in this spirit, the number one opponent for Les Bleus will be the France team itself.

“I am confident … Against Ukraine you saw that we had a lot of character. If we have our backs to the wall, we will respond. I am certain of it.”

Evra also highlighted that the positive atmosphere is nevertheless something he is wary of, especially in his particular case.

“I have been in many different groups, but this one scares me the most because everything is going so well. That everything goes well or not, I never felt like I never was where I needed to be … Everything goes so fast though. I know you [the media] can quickly get the guillotine out. I’m not daft.”

Evra finally fielded questions regarding the 2010 Knysna scandal, explaining that the captaincy was a real burden and how he feels much more relaxed now that he is relieved from it.

“To be captain is great, it’s an honor. But it is not my priority.

“I do the same things as in 2010. I try to give the best of myself to my teammates, and that gives me strength. In 2010, it sapped my strength. I think I put too much importance on my role as captain. Today, with more experience, I am more able to take a step back.

“I don’t like to talk about leaders. I always say [to the guys] before every match: ‘we have 23 leaders.’ My priority is that the guys have a great match, not just me.”

Evra concluded on comical note, regarding a question asked to him about the infamous mole in South Africa. At the halftime of the Mexico match, news of Nicolas Anelka insulting France coach Raymond Domenech in the dressing room got out to the French press. Evra had vowed since that day to find the mole.

“We were in our own little bubble, so much so that we imagined moles where they may not have been. It was a surreal moment. I can laugh about it today.

“But no, I still haven’t found the mole,” said Evra laughing.

 

About the Author

Ogo Sylla

- I am a Senegalese freelance journalist based in New York. I contribute mostly on Italian Serie A and French Ligue 1 football. I formerly worked as a journalist for the Federation of Senegalese Football, covering the national team. I currently contribute to the USA-based publication, Howler magazine. Most of my rantings & ravings can be found on Twitter at @RossonerOgo_3

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